[trahy-buh l]


of, relating to, or characteristic of a tribe: tribal customs.

Origin of tribal

First recorded in 1625–35; tribe + -al1
Related formstrib·al·ly, adverbnon·trib·al, adjectivenon·trib·al·ly, adverbpre·trib·al, adjectivepseu·do·trib·al, adjectivepseu·do·trib·al·ly, adverbqua·si-trib·al, adjectivequa·si-trib·al·ly, adverbsub·trib·al, adjectiveun·trib·al, adjectiveun·trib·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tribal

Contemporary Examples of tribal

Historical Examples of tribal

British Dictionary definitions for tribal



of or denoting a tribe or tribestribal chiefs in northern Yemen
displaying loyalty to a tribe, group, or tribal valuesthe tribal loyalties of Labour MPs
Derived Formstribally, adverb
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 tribal

1630s, "pertaining to tribes," from tribe + -al (1). Related: Tribally Meaning "characterized by a strong sense of loyalty to one's group" is from 1951 (Arendt). As a style of belly-dance from 1999, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper