Definition of kente in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkentə/ Pronunciation: /-tē/


1A brightly colored, banded material made in Ghana.
Example sentences
  • The men wear hand woven kente cloths draped over the left shoulder, with a ready-made short sleeved shirt underneath.
  • Artists and objects travel between worlds, travel whose earliest documentation may be found in the affinities between African American quilting traditions and west African strip-woven cloth such as kente.
  • For the Asante, the people most closely associated with kente, the cloth shifts from being a marker of class and regional origins to serving as ritual costume, nationalist statement, and marketing device.
1.1A long garment made from kente, worn loosely around the shoulders and waist.
Example sentences
  • Nigerians wear the boubou, Ghanaians the kente, former president Mobutu Sese Seko of the former Zaire made the safari suit his own.


Mid 20th century: from Twi, 'cloth'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ken·te

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.