Definition of Khoisan in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɔɪsɑːn/


1 [usually treated as plural] A collective term for the Khoikhoi and San peoples of southern Africa.
Example sentences
  • In southern Africa, the Khoisan were pushed all the way to the southern tip of the continent.
  • The first inhabitants of Mozambique were hunters and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisan now found in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.
  • The Bushmen, or Khoisan, or hunter-gatherer Khoi, were a physically similar but culturally distinct people who lived contiguously with the Khoikhoi.
2 [mass noun] A language family of southern Africa, including the languages of the Khoikhoi and San, now having fewer than a million speakers altogether, and notable for the use of clicks (made by suction with the tongue) as additional consonants.
Example sentences
  • Bantu, Khoisan, and Indo-European languages are spoken in Botswana.


Relating to the Khoisan or their languages.
Example sentences
  • Members of the Khoisan language groups are the oldest surviving inhabitants of the land, but only a few are left in South Africa today - and they are located in the western sections.
  • However, the policy also promotes the use and development of sign language and ‘heritage languages’ such as Khoisan and Indian languages.
  • Essentially I am trying to represent her story through living people - people who reflect her and her spirit, such as contemporary Khoisan people.


Blend of Khoikhoi and San.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Khoi|san

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