Definition of Cape coloured in English:

Cape coloured

nounPlural Cape coloureds

  • (in South Africa) a person of mixed ethnic descent resident in the province of Western Cape, speaking Afrikaans or English as their first language, and typically not a follower of Islam.

    Compare with Cape Malay
    • ‘In addition, 133 blacks had become Cape coloureds, one black had become a Griqua and one Cape coloured had become a Malay.’
    • ‘They don't like the distinction made between blacks, coloureds, Cape Malays or Cape coloureds but there are also English-speaking South Africans and Afrikaners and eleven official languages just to confuse matters in this Rainbow Nation.’
    • ‘In South Africa, that group is called the Cape coloureds.’
    • ‘The majority of the poor and the working class are not black Africans, but Cape coloreds - mixed-race descendants of early Dutch and French Huguenot settlers; of the Khoikhoi and San Bushmen who first inhabited the Cape; and of the Malay, Indian and African slaves imported by the whites.’
    • ‘When in the early 1960's Hendrik F. Verwoerd, the then NP prime minister, stripped the Cape coloreds (people of mixed origin) of their voting rights, Die Burger under Piet Cillie openly clashed with Verwoerd and the NP.’
    • ‘During the apartheid era, they were called the Cape coloureds.’
    • ‘Most of the Cape coloreds (people who are not whites or Africans) speak English.’


  • Relating to Cape coloured people.

    • ‘As the Malays have contributed considerably to the Cape coloured element, it was important to see whether the hæmoglobin C was in fact C and not E.’
    • ‘D' Oliveira, originally born in South Africa in 1931, was designated Cape coloured, and hence had no chance of establishing a career in cricket in his home country.’
    • ‘I meet the Cape coloured workers who have transformed themselves, from self-confessed illiterate drunkards into entrepreneurs who paid for their own representative to attend the London Wine Show two years ago.’
    • ‘The Commission was established to study data on the Cape coloured population, and although some of the testimonials are in Afrikaans, most of this material is in English.’