Definition of Voortrekker in English:



South African
  • 1historical A member of one of the groups of Dutch-speaking people who migrated by wagon from the Cape Colony into the interior from 1836 onwards, in order to live beyond the borders of British rule.

    • ‘The Voortrekkers had headed north away from the Cape Colony to escape British control.’
    • ‘A tapestry borrowed from the Voortrekker monument provides a woman's perspective of the daily deprivations and sufferings of the pioneer journey to the north.’
    • ‘The Voortrekkers helped to give South Africa its distinctive character.’
    • ‘The South Hall houses animal-drawn vehicles, including Voortrekker wagons and some ox-wagons.’
    • ‘On the 15th December 1838, 500 Voortrekkers formed their 64 wagons into a laager close to the bank of the Ncone River.’
  • 2A member of an Afrikaner youth movement similar to the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.


Afrikaans, from Dutch voor ‘fore’ + trekken ‘to travel’.