Definition of AFRICAN

AFRICAN Adjective

African is an adjective that pertains to or originates from the continent of Africa, as well as its diverse cultures, peoples, languages, and landscapes. It can also function as a noun to refer to individuals or things associated with Africa. Here are several key aspects of the term African:

Geographical Association: As an adjective, African describes anything related to the continent of Africa, including its geographical features, such as African deserts, rivers, mountains, and wildlife. It encompasses the continent’s vast and varied landscapes, from the Sahara Desert in the north to the savannas of East Africa and the rainforests of Central Africa.

Cultural Diversity: African culture is incredibly diverse, with thousands of ethnic groups and languages spread across the continent. The term African encompasses the rich tapestry of cultural traditions, music, art, cuisine, and rituals practiced by different African societies, reflecting their unique histories, beliefs, and values.

Historical Significance: The term African also carries historical significance, reflecting the continent’s complex past, including its pre-colonial civilizations, encounters with external powers, and struggles for independence and self-determination. African history encompasses a wide range of experiences, from ancient civilizations like Egypt and Ethiopia to the colonial period and the struggles for decolonization and nation-building.

Identity and Heritage: As a noun, African refers to individuals who identify with African heritage or ancestry, regardless of their location or nationality. It encompasses the diaspora of people of African descent around the world, highlighting the interconnectedness of African communities and the shared experiences of people of African origin.

In summary, the term African encapsulates the geographical, cultural, historical, and identity-related aspects of the continent of Africa and its peoples. It represents a diverse and multifaceted concept that reflects Africa’s rich heritage, complex history, and ongoing contributions to global culture and society.

Examples of AFRICAN in a sentence

  • The expedition explored the rich history and vibrant cultures of the African nations they visited.
  • The art gallery featured a collection that celebrated the diversity of African artistic expression.
  • She proudly displayed the traditional African attire during the cultural festival.
  • The conservation efforts focused on protecting the unique biodiversity found in various African ecosystems.
  • The historian dedicated years of research to document the contributions of African leaders throughout history.
  • The cuisine festival showcased the flavors and spices synonymous with African culinary traditions.
  • She studied the bold and diverse cultures of African countries during her anthropology course.
  • The African continent is known for its rich history and natural beauty.
  • He traced his ancestry back to various African tribes.
  • The African diaspora has spread cultural influences across the globe.

Origin of AFRICAN

The term African has a rich etymological history, reflecting its journey from ancient geographical names to its current form in English.

  • Latin Origins: The term African originates from the Latin word “Africa,” which was used by the Romans to refer to the northern part of the continent, specifically the area corresponding to modern-day Tunisia. The exact origin of “Africa” in Latin is uncertain, but it might be derived from the Phoenician word “afar,” meaning “dust” or “earth.”
  • Transition through Greek: The Latin “Africa” was adopted into Greek as “Αφρική” (Aphrikē), referring to the same geographical region. This Greek term retained the association with the northern part of the African continent.
  • Adoption into Old French: The Latin and Greek influences carried over into Old French as “Africain,” referring to the people and things related to Africa.
  • Integration into Middle English: The Old French “Africain” was adopted into Middle English as “African,” maintaining its meaning related to the continent of Africa and its people.

From its ancient Latin roots through its transformation in Greek and Old French to its present usage in English, the term African reflects its association with the continent of Africa, encompassing the diverse cultures, languages, and peoples of this vast and historically rich region.


  • Afro
  • Sub-Saharan
  • Black
  • Continental
  • Pan-African
  • Descendant
  • Ethnical
  • Indigenous


  • American
  • European
  • Foreign
  • Exotic
  • Alien
  • Asian
  • Outsider
  • Unfamiliar


  • Afrocentric
  • Diaspora
  • Sahara
  • Savanna
  • Tribal
  • Nomadic
  • Indigenous
  • Swahili

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