Definition of Mende in English:



  • 1A member of a people inhabiting Sierra Leone in West Africa.

    • ‘Led by Bai Farama, the Temnes attacked the Susus, Limbas and Mende, as well as the Portuguese and created a strong state along the trade route from Port Loko to the Sudan and Niger.’
    • ‘The label for the chief's staff and the Sowei mask discuss how the Luba and Mende still use identical or similar works for this purpose.’
    • ‘Arnold Rubin noted that the abstract, austere, and additive style of the Ijo offers a striking contrast to the smoother, more naturalistic styles found among the Mende, Dan, and Guro-Baule which surround the Kru complex.’
    • ‘Anyone concerned with African history, non-Western art, masking, or personal adornment - even those without a tremendous familiarity with the work of the Mende and their neighbors - will be engaged by this selection.’
    • ‘For example, among the Mende of Sierra Leone, boys must be initiated into the Poro Society before they are recognized as adults.’
  • 2[mass noun] The language of the Mende, belonging to the Mande group. It has over 1 million speakers.

    • ‘Krio, Mende and Temne are widely spoken, with Krio being the lingua franca.’
    • ‘The first is the Mande language group, which resembles Mandinka in structure, and includes Mende, Susu, Yalunka, Koranko, Kono, and Vai.’
    • ‘In fact, if there any one African language that we could even begin to treat as ‘black Americans' native tongue,’ it is Mende of Sierra Leone.’
    • ‘But this means that we should expect that dozens of other Black English words had been traced to, say, Bambara, Mende, Twi, Yoruba, Efik, Umbundu, and so on.’
    • ‘A Mende friend of mine who assisted Ferme at the time declared years later-with both admiration and surprise-that this American woman named Mariane could indeed speak Mende.’


  • Relating to or denoting the Mende or their language.

    • ‘The elaborately carved rows or monumental crowns admired in the wooden sculptures of the Mende or Yoruba people in West Africa mirror the hairstyles worn today.’
    • ‘Perhaps one could make a good argument that a Mende sowei mask used in female initiation rites belonged in this section, but the Yoruba epa mask was less convincing.’
    • ‘Here the author makes a significant contribution to earlier scholarship regarding influential women in Mende society through her gendered discussion of the kpako, or ‘Big Person.’’
    • ‘Farmer-Paellmann has found out that she originated from the Mende tribe in Sierra Leone, and now can ‘meet people who share my genetic makeup’.’
    • ‘Similarly, the Mende rice cultivators in Sierra Leone live from the forest but do not see themselves as standing over it, either to exploit or to conserve it.’


The name in Mende.