Definition of kraal in English:



South African
  • 1A traditional African village of huts, typically enclosed by a fence.

    • ‘They said that if money came to our kraals and our abodes, singing would no longer help our children and our wives sleep.’
    • ‘Tribute must be paid to these unsung heroes, many of whom now live in wait, in isolation in villages, townships and kraals far from legal help and with the thought that their colleagues may not be able to come to their rescue in time.’
    • ‘Traditional dancers and choirs joined in at yesterday's Tourism Day celebrations at the royal kraal near King William's Town.’
    • ‘Phillip then moved the two children to his own Mother's kraal and he paid a substantial sum to the family of his wife for this right - otherwise they might have taken the children themselves.’
    • ‘So at dusk I was led to a kraal where an extended Masai family greeted me with great hospitality and a selection of decorative beaded goods.’
  • 2An enclosure for cattle or sheep.

    • ‘The kraal for the cattle was not only suitable to us but to the hyenas as well.’
    • ‘She said the teacher had made the school his village as he had constructed a kraal for his cattle within the school premises.’
    • ‘He said aspects that had been addressed included branding, controlling skin diseases and tick wounds, and also fencing their kraals.’
    • ‘Villages are centered on a cattle pen called a kraal, or a community building.’
    • ‘I cannot put the cattle back into the kraal so early in the day!’
    enclosure, fold, sheepfold, pound, compound, paddock, stockade, sty, coop, cage, stall, lock-up
    View synonyms


[with object]South African
  • Drive (cattle or sheep) into an enclosure.

    ‘they kraal their sheep every night’
    • ‘24 cattle from this farm have been kraaled on Wallasey (next door) until the owner of the cattle pays compensation.’
    • ‘Already with portable electric fencing we will be kraaling the cattle overnight on the croplands to improve fertility of the lands.’
    • ‘All goats were kraaled at night and released for grazing at some time between 09: 00 and 11: 00 each day.’
    • ‘We responded to losses by jackal predation by changing to an indigenous breed (Damaras flock better than Dorpers and resist predators better), bringing heavily pregnant ewes in to a safe camp, and kraaling our animals at night.’


Dutch, from Portuguese curral (see corral).