Definition of Tutsi in English:



  • A member of a people forming a minority of the population of Rwanda and Burundi but who formerly dominated the Hutu majority. Historical antagonism between the peoples led in 1994 to large-scale ethnic violence, especially in Rwanda.

    • ‘During the 1994 genocide, extremist Hutus massacred minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.’
    • ‘As in Rwanda, the fighting in Burundi pits the ethnic minority Tutsi against the majority Hutu.’
    • ‘She says her parents were Tutsis, an ethnic minority in Rwanda.’
    • ‘The warring Hutus and Tutsis of Rwanda speak the one language.’
    • ‘Altogether some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus are estimated to have been killed in Rwanda's genocide.’


  • Relating to the Tutsi.

    • ‘Hundreds of displaced Tutsi civilians sought refuge at the bureau communal.’
    • ‘Traditionally, male Tutsi children are given extensive training in public speaking, storytelling, traditional dances, and military skills.’
    • ‘However, this Tutsi victory occurred at a great cost in human lives.’
    • ‘The Burundian army said it was braced for further attacks on Tutsi refugee camps.’
    • ‘Driven into exile, Tutsi children formed the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front.’


A local name. See also Watusi.