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[gree-oh, gree-oh, gree-ot] /griˈoʊ, ˈgri oʊ, ˈgri ɒt/
a member of a hereditary caste among the peoples of western Africa whose function is to keep an oral history of the tribe or village and to entertain with stories, poems, songs, dances, etc.
Origin of griot
1955-60; < French, earlier guiriot, perhaps ultimately < Portuguese criado domestic servant, altered in W African coastal creoles Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for griot


/ˈɡriːəʊ; ɡriːˈɒt/
(in Western Africa) a member of a caste responsible for maintaining an oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry, and storytelling
Word Origin
C20: from French guirot, perhaps from Portuguese criado domestic servant
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
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Word Origin and History for griot

1820, from French griot (17c.), of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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