Definition of Dinka in US English:


nounPlural Dinkas

  • 1A member of a Sudanese people of the Nile basin.

    • ‘The Dinka is the largest black tribe in Sudan, related to the Nuer and to another tribe called the Shilluk, in a group defined as the Nilotic tribes.’
    • ‘Khartoum has exploited this rivalry by employing the murahaleen to harass the Dinka in Bahr al-Ghazal and to run interference for the army's resupply trains to its garrison in the provincial capital, Wau.’
    • ‘In the whole of South Sudan there are two groupings: there are those people who live in the area called the Bahr al Ghazal and then there is another area called the Upper Nile area, but these are all Dinkas.’
    • ‘It ignores extensive evidence, including documented projects where Christian activists have ‘bought back ‘enslaved Dinkas from Muslim brokers.’’
    • ‘ABC's cameras vividly conveyed the plight of one southern tribe, the Dinka, a herding people, among whom Nagele has ministered.’
    • ‘Rebel groups and international human rights organizations have accused the Sudanese government of attempting genocide against (extermination of) the Dinka.’
    • ‘Modernisation was coming one way or another - not least because of the influence of Christian missions among the Dinka, and the education and literacy they provided.’
    • ‘Another Dinka boy told her that an Arab master slit the throats of three slaves who tried to escape.’
    • ‘In the south are the Dinka and the Nuer, two related groups that face both inter- and intra- cultural conflicts revolving primarily, but not exclusively around religion.’
    • ‘Cows are incredibly important to the Dinka, because when all else fails you can keep your children alive with the milk.’
    • ‘The stage is so crucial that ‘the English teacher,’ another Dinka refugee with sufficient English skills to fill out application forms, becomes the key counselor for fellow Dinkas searching for harbor beyond Cairo.’
    • ‘Especially it seems to have been virtually institutionalized in the southern Nuba Mountains and among the Dinka of north central Bahr al Ghazal.’
    • ‘An estimated 40 per cent of the southern Sudanese are Dinka, while 20 per cent belong to the culturally and linguistically related Nilotic Nuer and Shilluk ethnic groups.’
    • ‘To some detractors, Garang was a southern Sudanese, or ethnic Dinka tyrant.’
    • ‘Sudan's Dinkas are among the tallest in the world.’
    • ‘A clear example of this was in Sudan, where government proposals effectively replaced the Dinka's cattle-based economy with cotton.’
    • ‘Cattle to the Dinka aren't food, they are everything.’
    • ‘The systematic destruction of the Dinka, and all Southern tribes, however, is exactly as Jordan describes.’
    • ‘While in Egypt, he received an impromptu lesson from a fellow Dinka who, unknown to both, would blaze a trail that his pupil would later follow.’
  • 2The Nilotic language of the Dinka, with about 1.4 million speakers.

    • ‘In fact, the only interpreters in Ontario who speak his native language of Dinka reside in Toronto.’
    • ‘Sudanese tribal language gospel radio has already been going out from the new facility, bringing God's Word to many thousands in Dinka and Nuer villages.’
    • ‘Linguists classify Dinka as a major language family in the Nilotic category of African languages.’
    • ‘He still has trouble speaking Dinka but the Olympics have given him a chance to win the support of his hosts.’
    • ‘In the south and west, English is spoken alongside the variety of indigenous languages, of which Dinka is the most widespread.’


  • Relating to the Dinka or their language.

    • ‘His father, Deng Majok, who was paramount chief of the Ngoka Dinka, was both a pillar of Dinka culture and simultaneously a strong national figure committed to a modern unified Sudan.’
    • ‘Just four years ago, the civil war have made living conditions so bad for Sudan's southern Dinka people, that entire villages fled or were displaced.’
    • ‘In fact, as the story unraveled the ‘Arab’ liberator (perhaps Doka Awut, by true name) had himself been born of a Dinka mother and an Arab father.’
    • ‘A naked Dinka tribesman with a Kalashnikov over his shoulder is not an unusual sight.’
    • ‘But there are moderate, peaceable Muslims who live in the north who are friends of the African Dinka people who are mainly affected by the slave raids.’
    • ‘In the past he has consistently confounded sceptics, though his detractors claim he is at heart, and in sharp contrast to Garang, a secessionist and a Dinka nationalist.’
    • ‘He was like any other Western observer, but with one difference - he had lived in Sudan for over 40 years and so knew the Dinka people and their language.’
    • ‘He presided over an utterly devastated and underdeveloped war-torn region from a ramshackle collection of huts in Rumbek, the designated capital of southern Sudan in the heart of Dinka country.’
    • ‘In the late 1980s it used local militias to help clear the Dinka population from the Bahr al-Ghazal region of southwest Sudan.’
    • ‘She says her friends probably still remember the day the tall, silent Dinka girl arrived at the Hackney Free and Parochial School.’
    • ‘Cut off from social relations with other Dinka slaves, for whom speaking their own language was a risk, mastering the Arabic language without instruction became a means of survival.’
    • ‘A set of drums is found in every Dinka settlement.’
    • ‘Rumbek, in the heart of Dinka territory, has already been designated as the new capital of southern Sudan.’
    • ‘They would, among others, visit Dinka riverbank farmers in Bor County, southern Sudan, who grow crops and herd cattle.’
    • ‘Shaking hands and hugging, they began to sing the Dinka song ‘Door,’ which means ‘reconciliation.’’
    • ‘Aside from the thousand Dinka killed in the main incident there were also reports of slavery of Dinka women and children in the Kordofan-Bahr al Ghazal borderlands.’
    • ‘A few months later, when fighting with the government displaced thousands of Nuer, they were able to find refuge in Dinka territory thanks to the bonds forged at Wunlit.’
    • ‘Like Garang, vice-president Salva Kiir Mayardit is a Dinka tribesman.’


From the local word Jieng ‘people’.