Definition of Cushitic in English:



  • Relating to or denoting a group of East African languages of the Afro-Asiatic family spoken mainly in Ethiopia and Somalia, including Somali and Oromo.

    • ‘Arabic is a branch of the Semitic languages, which in turn belongs to the Afro-Asiatic language family together with Berber, Ancient Egyptian, Chadic, and Cushitic.’
    • ‘The vast majority of the languages spoken in the country can be classified within three families of the Afro-Asiatic super language family: the Semitic, Cushitic, and Omotic.’
    • ‘The nine languages can be grouped into three major language families: the Nilotic, the Cushitic, and the Afro-Semitic.’
    • ‘For several thousand years thereafter, migrations of Nilotic, Cushitic, and Semitic-speaking people entered Eritrea, and were among the first in Africa to grow crops and domesticate livestock.’
    • ‘The major language groups native to the region include Bantu in the west and along the coast, Nilotic near Lake Victoria, and Cushitic in the north.’


mass noun
  • The Cushitic group of languages.

    • ‘Lastly, the unequal representation of Cushitic or Nilotic artists and their cultures cannot be dismissed.’
    • ‘These include Khoisan, or ‘click ‘speaking hunter-gatherers, Nilotic-speaking pastoralists (such as the Maasai), Cushitic speakers, and Bantu speakers; the latter predominate in terms of population size.’’
    • ‘Bilen is part of a larger Cushitic language subfamily called Agau.’
    • ‘In the Afro-Asiatic family of languages, Somali is an Eastern Cushitic language.’
    • ‘In a narrow strip on the western border of Ethiopia live the only people in the country who speak neither Semitic nor Cushitic languages.’
    • ‘The Cushitic family of languages are spoken by the Oromo peoples, the largest group in the central regions of Ethiopia.’
    • ‘The main indigenous languages are Afar and Issa-Somali, both of which belong to the Cushitic language group.’


Early 20th century: from Cush + -itic.