• synonyms


  1. a Bantu language spoken in Malawi and Zambia.
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Origin of Nyanja

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nyanja

Historical Examples of nyanja

  • In the delta of the Zambezi is to be found Ci-podzo, a very distinct language, yet one which belongs to the Nyanja genus.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3


  • He stated that he crossed the Nyanja at a narrow part, and was 36 hours in the passage.

  • This is evidently a reminiscence of the "medicine" (Nyanja, chiwindo) used in Africa to protect gardens.

British Dictionary definitions for nyanja


  1. plural -ja or -jas a member of a Negroid people of central Africa, living chiefly in Malawi
  2. the language of this people, belonging to the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo family. Nyanja forms the basis of a pidgin used as a lingua franca in central Africa
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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