noun, plural Car·ibs, (especially collectively) Car·ib. for 1.

a member of a group of Indian peoples formerly dominant through the Lesser Antilles, now found in small numbers in a few areas of the West Indies and in parts of Central America and northeastern South America.
the family of languages spoken by the Caribs.

Origin of Carib

1545–55; < Spanish caribe < Arawak Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carib

Historical Examples of carib

  • Morgan and Carib had taken care that no one had marked their departure.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer

    Cyrus Townsend Brady

  • The population was largely Carib, a savage race given to cannibalism.

    Plotting in Pirate Seas

    Francis Rolt-Wheeler

  • The Carib women in Surinam think that large calves of the leg are a beauty.


    William Graham Sumner

  • A Carib chief arriving with a slave, offered him for sale to the English governor.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • On the banks of the Pomaroon lived a Carib family, with a number of small children.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for carib



plural -ibs or -ib a member of a group of American Indian peoples of NE South America and the Lesser Antilles
the family of languages spoken by these peoples
Derived FormsCariban, adjective

Word Origin for Carib

C16: from Spanish Caribe, from Arawak
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 carib



1550s, from Spanish Caribe, from Arawakan kalingo or kalino, said to mean "brave ones" or else "strong men." As an adjective by 1881.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper