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or lobola

[loh-buh-luh] /ˈloʊ bə lə/
noun, plural lobolos.
a bride price, typically of cattle, paid to a bride's father among Bantu-speaking tribes of southern Africa.
Origin of lobolo
1815-25; < Zulu (ili)lobolo, (i)lobolo (with implosive b), or a cognate Nguni word Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lobola
Historical Examples
  • For I intend to lobola for all three of you, as well as for her.

    The King's Assegai Bertram Mitford
  • I will lobola for Nangeza, and soon I shall be an induna, and she shall be my “great wife.”

    The King's Assegai Bertram Mitford
  • It will be great to obtain wives we have paid no lobola for.

    Forging the Blades Bertram Mitford
  • As our father asks no lobola, perhaps you have taken the gift instead.

    Child of Storm H. Rider Haggard
  • lobola: The price in cattle paid by the intending bridegroom to the parent or guardian of a girl.

    The King's Assegai Bertram Mitford
  • Sons of my father, I would not pay half a calf in lobola for one white woman I have ever seen.

    Forging the Blades Bertram Mitford
  • They had done him out of his cattle, he declared, so that he should have no lobola to offer for any girl.

    A Secret of the Lebombo Bertram Mitford
  • Nkose, two more would complete the lobola, for the girl is fine and much sought after, and her father—whau!

British Dictionary definitions for lobola


/lɔːˈbɔːlə; ləˈbəʊ-/
(in southern Africa) an African custom by which a bridegroom's family makes a payment in cattle or cash to the bride's family shortly before the marriage
Word Origin
from Nguni ukulobola to give the bride price
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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