Definition of Yoruba in English:



  • 1A member of an African people of SW Nigeria and Benin.

    • ‘In July 1999 clashes between Hausas and local Yorubas in Shagamu, north of Lagos, resulted in around 60 deaths.’
    • ‘In the land of the Yoruba, in Western Africa, there lived a mighty queen.’
    • ‘Among the Yorubas, the Olola families are the traditional circumcisers and the trade is handed down from generation to generation.’
    • ‘He talks only briefly about his experience photographing the Yoruba and offers no commentary on his black-and-white photographs that illustrate the chapter.’
    • ‘The Yoruba use the same term, dun, for a palatable meal and a memorable spectacle, both arousing a desire for more.’
    • ‘The book concludes with an overview of the fashionable world of the Yoruba.’
    • ‘The Hausas dominate Nigeria's north, the Yorubas the southwest.’
    • ‘He argues that Yorubas have a three-part view of a person.’
    • ‘I find it ironic that someone once so dedicated to moving the Yoruba into the modern, postcolonial world would be so unaccepting of the results of that globalizing trajectory.’
    • ‘The role of women must be noted as a complex element of Yoruba society and one that is reflected in cultures of the Egyptians, the Igbo as well as the Yoruba.’
    • ‘The Africans began to see themselves not as Hausas, Igbos, or Yorubas, but as Nigerians in a common struggle against their colonial rulers.’
    • ‘The proportion of Yorubas in Nigeria who are Muslim, Catholic, or Protestant or who subscribe to traditional beliefs or animism is not stated.’
    • ‘Fighting between ethnic Yorubas and Hausas erupted in Ajegunle district here on Sunday and continued to Tuesday.’
    • ‘Nigeria is home to 120 million people divided among 250 ethnic groups dominated by the Hausas of the north, the Yorubas of the west and the Ibos in the east.’
    • ‘The latter, roughly translated as the masters of medicine, herbalists, or alternative medical doctors, are the repositories of the collective wisdom, experience, and traditions of the Yoruba.’
    • ‘The colored kerchiefs of the women are in the style of the Yoruba of Nigeria.’
    • ‘The three major groups are the Hausa and Fulani in the north, the Yoruba in the west, and the Igbo in the east.’
    • ‘While the influence of Fela's music has been pin-pointed, his spiritualism and contemporary take on Yoruba culture was extraordinary.’
    • ‘He wore his hair unusually long for a Yoruba, and he had the filed upper teeth of the Gun, his mother's people.’
    • ‘Kinship is the most important relationship for the Yorubas.’
  • 2[mass noun] The language of the Yoruba, which belongs to the Kwa group. It is an official language of Nigeria, with over 16 million speakers.

    • ‘English has a lot of ideophonic words, but it doesn't really seem to have an ideophonic system of the kind that Japanese or Korean or Yoruba have.’
    • ‘For readers conversant in Yoruba, comparing those original texts to their English translations will be an invaluable, but sometimes troubling, exercise.’
    • ‘Fluent in Yoruba, George brings a linguistic command to readings of Fagunwa that are necessarily lost on Anglophone readers of this important Nigerian writer.’
    • ‘The point of a talking drum is to make noises which sound like words spoken in a tonal language - like Yoruba.’
    • ‘Tone does not distinguish verbs like in Yoruba.’
    • ‘These songs in turn include 20 stanzas in Yoruba and 10 stanzas that mix Yoruba with Spanish.’
    • ‘Today those who are not ethnic Yorubas or Igbos rarely speak Yoruba or Igbo.’
    • ‘My brother was raised over there so he speaks Yoruba which is akin to speaking Welsh or Gaelic.’
    • ‘Female voices break out in Yoruba, and Chuckie Joseph sings his ‘Agua Dulce’ over solo guitar.’
    • ‘Fifty percent of the population speaks Fon; other important languages include Yoruba, Aja, Mina, Goun, Bariba, Dendi, Ditamarri, Nateni, and Fulfulde.’
    • ‘They are broadcast in English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin English.’
    • ‘Arabic, Yoruba, Bhojpuri, Urdu and other languages are used in religious contexts, and the traditional Christmas music called parang is sung in Spanish.’
    • ‘Belonging to the Kwa group of languages, Yoruba is a tonal tongue.’
    • ‘She is a three-time Grammy nominee who sings in English, French and two African languages, Yoruba and Fon.’
    • ‘There are plenty of endangered languages among the 505 that Ethnologue lists in Nigeria, but Yoruba is not one of them.’


  • Relating to the Yoruba or their language.

    • ‘Hustu de la Madrid, better known as El Negro, chants out something in the Yoruba language as he tosses four pieces of coconut shells onto the floor to talk to the spirits.’
    • ‘Later I was told that 25,000 members of the OPC Youth Wing had descended on the Apapa Port to defend the rights of Yoruba dock workers fired by the new non-Yoruba union boss.’
    • ‘Although ten out of twelve major media institutions are located in Lagos, only two of these, the Punch and the Comet, have Yoruba proprietors.’


The name in Yoruba.