Definition of Bambara in English:



  • 1A member of a West African people living chiefly in Mali.

    • ‘The Mande peoples are comprised primarily of the Malinke, Bambara, and Juula.’
    • ‘This synthesis of spiritual worldviews is not unique to Hausa Islam, but is found in most other Afro-Islamic communities, such as those of the Somali, the Swahili, and the Bambara.’
    • ‘The black African group includes the Fulani, Soninke, and Bambara.’
    • ‘And while most slave exports from Senegambia were male Bambara from inland areas, slaves captured in the immediate area of Dakar included as many females as males.’
    • ‘The term ‘Mande’ frequently refers to a group of closely related languages spoken by the Malinke and other west African peoples such as the Bambara, the Soninke, and the Dyula.’
  • 2[mass noun] The language of the Bambara, belonging to the Mande group. It has about 1.5 million speakers.

    • ‘There were two French hymns, one Tamashek, one Bambara and one Songhai hymn.’
    • ‘Malians Keita and Diakite sing in Bambara; Dabo - originally from the troubled state of Guinea Bissau - sings in Biafada and Creole.’
    • ‘But this means that we should expect that dozens of other Black English words had been traced to, say, Bambara, Mende, Twi, Yoruba, Efik, Umbundu, and so on.’
    • ‘As well as different musical languages, French, English and Bambara add more diversity to the lyrical mix.’
    • ‘Though she sings in her native Bambara, her fame until now has been among western audiences who could not understand the often controversial messages in her songs.’


  • Relating to the Bambara or their language.

    • ‘I went to Mali, where Touaregs were the laughing stock of the ethnic Bambara tribe.’
    • ‘Many musicians are coming around to the idea that the blues could have been rooted in the Bambara musical tradition and transported to the US in the slave ships.’
    • ‘And Maryse Conde's monumental historical novel Segu traces the odysseys of members of a Bambara royal family from Segou in Mali.’
    • ‘Yeelen, based on an actual myth, tells the story of a young man of the Bambara tribe in 13th century Mali.’
    • ‘The head of one of these figures, in fact, is a further stylization of the graceful curvature traditional to Bambara antelope masks.’