Definition of Songhai in English:



  • 1A member of a people of West Africa living mainly in Niger and Mali.

    • ‘The Gambia was once part of the Empire of Ghana and the Kingdom of the Songhais.’
    • ‘The second principal social problem involves political instability in the Republic of Niger, home to many of the Songhay.’
    • ‘The lands now comprising Senegal once were part of three empires: Ghana, Mali (which brought Islam to the area), and the Songhai.’
    • ‘There are also references to the Soce of Senegal, JoIa of Gambia, Songhay and Moors of Mali, and the Kru of Liberia.’
    • ‘Hausa tribesmen rubbed shoulders with Fulani pastoralists and Songhay from the west.’
  • 2mass noun The Nilo-Saharan language of the Songhai, with about 2 million speakers.

    • ‘Other national languages promoted by the DNAFLA include Fulfuldé, Songhai, Senufo, Dogon, Soninké, and Tamasheq.’
    • ‘Other major languages include Zarma, Songhay, Fulfulde, and Tamasheq.’
    • ‘Many of the Tuareg also speak Songhay, Hausa, and French, and read Arabic.’
    • ‘A short, thin man wearing glasses approached us and said ‘Hello’ in Hausa and in Songhay, the two major languages of Niger.’


  • Relating to the Songhai or their language.

    • ‘In this film he presents a documentary of social life in Wanzerbe, the famed village of Songhay sorcerers.’
    • ‘Two contrasting modes and metaphorisations of taste occur in a Songhay village, and in eighteenth century England.’
    • ‘To promote literacy among rural adults, alphabets have been created for the Malinke, Bamana, Fulfulde, Songhai, and Tuareg languages.’
    • ‘However, it has an intriguing and glorious past - embracing the ancient Malian and Songhay empires as well as Timbuktu and the Tuaregs.’
    • ‘Since farming is seasonal, many Songhay men have developed secondary occupations: trading, transport, or tailoring.’


The name in Songhai.