Definition of Kru in US English:



  • 1A member of a seafaring people of the coast of Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

    • ‘There are also references to the Soce of Senegal, Songhay and Moors of Mali, and the Kru of Liberia.’
    • ‘He suggested that the ‘impact of Ijo style may even have extended from Nigeria as far as southeastern Liberia’, proposing the Kru as the distributors of Ijo artistic forms.’
    • ‘Many of the West African colonists who worked on the cocoa plantations established by the Spanish were Kru, ‘the mainstay of agriculture and other activities on the island of Fernando Po’.’
    • ‘One of the most significant African communities to find employment on European ships travelling through West African waters was the Kru, from the Liberian coast.’
    • ‘The variety originated first in contacts from the 17th century between native speakers of British English and such coastal peoples as the Kru and then in the settlement of repatriated blacks.’
  • 2The Niger–Congo language of the Kru.

    • ‘The number of American who spoke Kru was 65,848 in 1990, compared to 24,506 in 1980, which is a 168.7 percent increase.’
    • ‘Liberia's population consists of over two dozen ethnic groups, which fall into three main language groups: Kru (east and southeast), Mel, and Mande (north and far west).’


  • Relating to the Kru or their language.

    • ‘The southwest Kru peoples are probably the oldest of Cote d' Ivoire's present-day ethnic groups, the largest tribe of which is the Bete.’
    • ‘The resemblance of Kru multiple-eyed masking forms to the terracotta mask, also with multiple eyes, from Ke, an archaeological site in the eastern Niger Delta, is impressive.’
    • ‘Any reconstruction of Kru ethnicity and history is, at best, difficult.’
    • ‘An incident that occurred in the Wouri estuary around 1830 between English traders and Duala and Kru paddlers speaks to the size of the canoes and the maritime skills of indigenous peoples.’
    • ‘Logbooks and journals reveal that in the nineteenth century it was common practice for Royal Navy vessels to pick up a complement of Kru sailors, or Kroomen, upon reaching the African coast.’


From a West African language.