Definition of Tutsi in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtʊtsi/

noun (plural same or Tutsis)

A member of a people forming a minority of the population of Rwanda and Burundi but who formerly dominated the Hutu majority. Historical antagonism between the peoples led in 1994 to large-scale ethnic violence, especially in Rwanda.
Example sentences
  • As in Rwanda, the fighting in Burundi pits the ethnic minority Tutsi against the majority Hutu.
  • The warring Hutus and Tutsis of Rwanda speak the one language.
  • Altogether some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus are estimated to have been killed in Rwanda's genocide.


Relating to the Tutsi.
Example sentences
  • Driven into exile, Tutsi children formed the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front.
  • The Burundian army said it was braced for further attacks on Tutsi refugee camps.
  • Traditionally, male Tutsi children are given extensive training in public speaking, storytelling, traditional dances, and military skills.


A local name. See also Watusi.

Words that rhyme with Tutsi

Abruzzi, footsie, tootsie
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.