• 1A member of the aboriginal peoples of southern Africa commonly called Bushmen.

    • ‘‘I knew very well,’ he said, ‘That one did not call someone a San to his face.’’
    • ‘Yet the research could also be twisted to bolster deep-seated prejudices against the San, probably the most abused and downtrodden ethnic group in southern Africa.’
    • ‘Cognatic systems are found among Whites, Caprivians and some San, while patrilineal descent is found among Khoekhoegowab- and Tswana-speakers.’
  • 2mass noun The group of Khoisan languages spoken by the San.

    • ‘San turned out not to be closely related at all.’
    1. 2.1 Any of the San languages.
      • ‘San is spoken in Namibia.’


From Nama sān ‘aboriginals, settlers’.