[ af-ri-kuhn ]
/ ˈæf rɪ kən /
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of or from Africa; belonging to the Black peoples of Africa.


a native or inhabitant of Africa.
(loosely) a Black person or other person of African ancestry.



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Origin of African

First recorded before 1000 for noun, 1540–60 for adjective; Middle English noun Affrican, Aufrican “an inhabitant of North Africa or the Roman province of Africa (approximately modern Tunisia),” Old English noun Africanas “Africans” (accusative plural), from Late Latin Āfricānus “an inhabitant of Africa,” from Latin adjective Āfricānus “pertaining to Africa, African,” from Āfrica (short for terra Āfrica “African land”) “the continent of Africa, the Roman province of Africa,” a derivative of Āfrī, plural of adjective and noun Āfer (Āfra, Āfrum ) “pertaining to Africa, African,” as a noun “an inhabitant of North Africa”; further etymology uncertain; possibly akin to Phoenician ʾafar “dust”; possibly the name of a local Libyan tribe ancestral to the Berbers
Africans , Afrikaans
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for African

/ (ˈæfrɪkən) /


denoting or relating to Africa or any of its peoples, languages, nations, etc


a native, inhabitant, or citizen of any of the countries of Africa
a member or descendant of any of the peoples of Africa, esp a Black person
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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