Definition of mzungu in English:



  • (in East Africa) a white person.

    ‘there was a mzungu just off the Nyeri Road who was a teacher’
    • ‘An oft-heard shout from children and adults alike was ‘mzungu!’’
    • ‘Speaking French has contradictory connotations, depending on the context: It is a sign of education in administrative circles but is offensive at the village level, where ‘acting like a mzungu’ is considered a sign of a bad attitude.’
    • ‘During the cutbacks there was resentment towards the mzungus, or whites.’
    • ‘They then pat each other on the back for coming up with such a clever thing to say to a mzungu.’


Swahili, from m- class prefix + -zungu ‘European’.