Definition of Wolof in English:



  • 1A member of a people living in Senegal and Gambia.

    • ‘In matrilineal ethnic groups such as the Wolof, the mother's brother is sent on behalf of the groom to ask for the bride's hand.’
    • ‘These range from the lakes and rivers of the Serer and Wolof of Senegambia, to Timbuktu's landscape-which Boulton described as the ‘meeting place of the camel and canoe’ of the Sahara desert and the Niger river.’
    • ‘This is a factor in the rising abuse of alcohol and drugs by the Wolof.’
    • ‘Essentially, the country is divided between the northern Arabic-speaking peoples and several southern groups, mainly Wolofs and Peuls.’
    • ‘In Islamic-run courts two women count as one witness, polygamy is widespread in the black communities, and female circumcision is practiced by all the ethnic groups except the Wolof.’
    • ‘Most of the inhabitants in this zone are Wolof and all are Muslim.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, I believe that we can make further remarks about the effects of participation on the Wolof and Sereer.’
    • ‘The author of the piece also mentions the tensions between Casamance's separatist Diola faction and the Wolofs, whose majority population sees them controlling most of the government.’
    • ‘One way to understand this development is suggested by the description of social stratification among the Senegalese Wolof from the CSAC Ethnographic Atlas.’
    • ‘Serious human rights abuses - including arrest without trial; torture and execution of political prisoners; and persecution of Wolof and Peul political groups - have continued to occur.’
    • ‘According to these stories, Sao Tiago was inhabited by Wolofs, natives of Senegal and Gambia, both west African coastal nations; and that Sal was inhabited by Lebu, Serer, the Felup.’
    • ‘These groups represent the former Empire of the Wolof in the Senegambian region and the Mandingo Empires of Mali and Songhai.’
    • ‘Like the overall Senegalese population, the majority ethnic and religious groups in the villages are Wolof and Islam, respectively.’
    • ‘Gambia is a multiethnic country; major ethnic groups include the Fula, Jola, Mandinka, Serahule, and Wolof.’
    • ‘In contrast to the French view of democracy, the concept is not favorable to the Wolof: ‘Our demokaraasie is to do what the marabout orders’.’
    • ‘Some people call these entertainers griots; the Wolof call them gewel, and the Mandinka, jalolu.’
    • ‘Other major players are Songhay from Niger and Mali, Wolof from Senegal, and Soninke from Gambia.’
    • ‘Years ago I gave some lectures in Dakar where a local English teacher was quite taken with the idea that the HIP and JIVE he had learned about in black Americans' English were Wolof words.’
    • ‘But Caribbean Creole English, again, exhibits no especial Wolof contribution.’
    • ‘The show features Senegalese drumming and Wolof chanting troupe Oubekou.’
    • ‘Refuel with yassa, a mixture of meat, onions, and spices, and mafe, a peanut sauce served over rice, prepared by local Wolof, Serra, Dioula, and Peul ethnic groups.’
  • 2mass noun The Niger–Congo language of the Wolof, which has about 2 million speakers.

    • ‘Married to a Senegalese and jamming regularly at Dakar, he sings in Wolof, a dialect from the nation which has caused a major upset in the ongoing Football World Cup.’
    • ‘Although French is the official language, it is spoken only by an educated minority, and Wolof has become a lingua franca towns and markets, schools, and interethnic marriages.’
    • ‘It differs from previous releases in that Maal sings in several different languages, including Wolof and Malinka.’
    • ‘In the West African language of Wolof, waw kay means ‘yes.’’
    • ‘His voice is almost too soft to hear, his English embellished by traces of French and Wolof, the native language of most Senegalese.’
    • ‘At school we learn French, but we have what we call our native language, which is Wolof.’
    • ‘The other main languages are Azayr, Fulfulde, Mande-kan, and Wolof.’
    • ‘In Wolof, the local language, the Bay is called Yaraax, which means, ‘clear water’.’
    • ‘I mean, there I was, 6,000 or 7,000 miles from all my friends, all my family, in a place where I didn't speak either French or Wolof very well, the two principal languages spoken in Senegal.’
    • ‘Headlines in French, English, and Wolof clipped from local papers situate the canvases in a temporal and spatial frame while signifying the lived cosmopolitan reality of contemporary Dakar.’
    • ‘In Wolof, Senegal's main language, joko means link or connection, and that is what these clubs will provide.’
    • ‘I am told there is a saying in Wolof, the main African language spoken in Senegal - ‘There is no education greater than travel.’’
    • ‘His continual narration in Wolof - a native language of Senegal - often forces the on-screen crime into the background - the real action is in Z's head.’
    • ‘Black Africans' determination to resist Arabization resulted in the official recognition of Fulani, Soninke, and Wolof as national languages in 1980 and the creation of a national institute to teach those languages in public schools.’
    • ‘Including second-language speakers, some 7 million people worldwide speak Wolof.’
    • ‘News is broadcast in English and the major Gambian languages (Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, Jola, and Serahuli).’
    • ‘Besides French and Wolof, people speak the language of their ethnic group, such as Pulaar, Serer, and thirty-eight other African languages.’
    • ‘She has posters of Amilcar Cabral and Charlie Chaplin in her room; she dresses in African style and rides a motor scooter; she is a student at the university and will only speak Wolof.’
    • ‘The word ‘hip,’ he says, derives from the West African language Wolof, and was ‘cultivated by slaves’ from West Africa.’
    • ‘And when I first heard her speak in the bank, I couldn't tell the difference between her Wolof and anybody else's.’


  • Relating to the Wolof or their language.

    • ‘Or rather, I posted about my memory of having heard about this aspect of Wolof sociolinguistics, at some time in the past; and so I hedged what I said, in an attempt to avoid starting a cute story that might turn out not to be accurate.’
    • ‘The significance of Wolof surnames today, as through history, extends beyond identification to identity, encapsulating a person's entire socio-economic heritage.’
    • ‘A poetic etymology from the Wolof people states that the name derives from the local term Sunugal, meaning ‘our dugout canoe’ (everyone is in the same boat).’
    • ‘Guttural Wolof rap and haunting guest vocals from Malian chanteuse Rokia Traoré are balanced by a strong R & B influence and a touch of salsa.’
    • ‘A Wolof griot was added, local mbalax styles and themes crept in.’
    • ‘As I argue here, Wolof women's new role as moneylenders connects them to a wide array of social networks extending beyond the household and the development group.’
    • ‘If the past is any indication of the future, then the flexible heritage of Senegalese Griots will continue to reflect and inflect the dynamic history of Wolof society for generations to come.’
    • ‘A charming 1909 postcard of the wife of a Wolof merchant wearing a dyed wrapper introduces her essay.’
    • ‘Their ingenious and incendiary melange of African-American rap, Senegalese sabar drums, griot traditions and Wolof language with a French twist could be characterized as Public Enemy meets Les Nubians.’
    • ‘Village banks represent a radical new approach to development, targeting a social category, rural Wolof women, who have never before been granted economic resources by an extralocal agency.’
    • ‘His own Wolof language, like the Mandinke, had no written equivalent.’
    • ‘The opening title track celebrates hip-hop's homecoming to the African motherland (born in Africa, brought up in America, rap has come full circle) in rapid Wolof rhymes and airy Malian melodies by Rokia Traoré.’
    • ‘It is important to note that most village banks were spawned by development groups that had already spent years engaged in other activities that Wolof villagers did not value as much as village banks.’
    • ‘The brothers share both a strong connection to Wolof tradition and an affinity for modernity.’
    • ‘The national dish of Senegal is Thieboudienne or Chep-bu-jen, meaning fish and rice in the Wolof language, usually served with vegetables.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, friction between Muslims and Griots over the inheritance of social status was eased as European trade in slaves, groundnuts and gum gradually eroded Wolof patronage structures and extended-family agronomy.’
    • ‘Mulvey is clearly out of her depth when it comes to African history - she mistakenly equates the Wolof language with Mande and refers to the local scene diminutively as ‘folk culture.’’
    • ‘Modern griot ‘rap’ performed in the Wolof language tells stories about society, much like ancient griots narrated the lives of ancient kings.’
    • ‘The word boubou, derived from the Wolof word mbubb, designates a large gown with long sleeves or a shirt that slips over the head.’


The name in Wolof.