Definition of Twa in US English:


nounPlural Batwa, Plural Twas

  • A member of a Pygmy people inhabiting parts of Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).

    • ‘It is believed that the Twa were the first people to inhabit the area.’
    • ‘However, Twa are not allowed to drink or eat from the same containers.’
    • ‘At least 84% of the population is Hutu, 15% is Tutu and 1% is Twa.’
    • ‘The Maori of New Zealand, the Inuit of Canada, the Twa of Rwanda, Han ethnics from China and Tibetan exiles - all these and more sent representatives and concerns to the World Conference.’
    • ‘The Twa also speak Kirundi, although theirs is a slightly different dialect.’
    • ‘The Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa all speak a Central Bantu language.’
    • ‘The Hutu have much in common with the other peoples of these countries, the Tutsi and the Twa.’
    • ‘They have much in common with the other groups of this region, the Twa and the Hutu.’
    • ‘Soon, however, social turmoil swept the country, weakening the monarch's effectiveness as an arbiter of political disputes, and exacerbating communal violence among Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa, the three major ethnic communities.’
    • ‘The Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa all speak the same Central Bantu language.’


  • Relating to the Twa.

    • ‘The original inhabitants of present-day Burundi are thought to be the Twa people, descendants of the pygmies.’
    • ‘It said the Senate would be 50% Hutu and 50% Tutsi with three Twa members.’
    • ‘Whereas intermarriage between Hutu and Tutsi is common, it is extremely rare between Twa and other groups.’
    • ‘Similar designs are painted on large cooking pots made by Twa potters.’
    • ‘The Twa people are skilled in making pottery for their own use and for the tourist market.’
    • ‘In May 2000, the Rwandan National Ballet toured the United States with Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa performers in a display of national unity.’


A local word meaning ‘foreigner, outsider’.