- (in Africa) master; boss.
Origin of bwana
1875–80; < Swahili < Arabic abūnā our father
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bwana
"N'dio, bwana," assented the latter to a speech of which he understood not one word.
More and more stretches the distance between the bwana and his headman.
"I call him bwana m'kubwa (great master)," replied Simba blandly.
Now we must go back to where Bwana Marefu can come to fix my eyes.
"We tell no lies, bwana" said one of the messengers earnestly.
- (in E Africa) a master, often used as a respectful form of address corresponding to sir
Swahili, from Arabic abūna our father
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for bwana
respectful or reverential form of address in East Africa, 1878, from Swahili.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper