View synonyms for tribal


[ trahy-buhl ]


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a tribe:

    tribal customs in Indonesia.

  2. designating, characterized by, or relating to a strong sense of loyalty to one’s own tribe, party, or group:

    Tribal politics can be divisive and counterproductive.


/ ˈtraɪbəl /


  1. of or denoting a tribe or tribes

    tribal chiefs in northern Yemen

  2. displaying loyalty to a tribe, group, or tribal values

    the tribal loyalties of Labour MPs

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Derived Forms

  • ˈtribally, adverb

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Other Words From

  • tribal·ly adverb
  • non·tribal adjective
  • quasi-tribal adjective
  • sub·tribal adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of tribal1

First recorded in 1625–35; tribe + -al 1

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Example Sentences

For select residents of certain tribes and for specific tribal governments, reservation casinos provide perhaps the only example of gambling revenue actually meeting expectations as a tool of economic development.

Although it’s not clear whether the president-elect would save Oak Flat if the process were delayed until he takes office, he has promised to work more closely with tribal leaders.

The case, one of the largest battles between tribal governments and the United States in decades, will be reviewed by the Supreme Court this year.

From Fortune

For those 150,000 locations, Frontier will have to consult with the CWA, TURN, Cal Advocates, and tribal government leaders "to discuss the potential areas for deployment, including tribal lands and tribal communities," the settlement said.

“It could be somewhat random, but looking at those particular states, it could also reflect attention paid to tribal populations,” said Kate Miller, a senior scientist at Ariadne Labs.

“He was a brave field commander and an expert in intelligence, and in organizing popular and tribal forces,” said the eulogist.

In tribal areas, such legitimacy cannot be gained while Assad in power.

Killer also noted that there are some tribal elections on the same day.

The drones bombing the tribal area, angering many, are run by the Company.

Allen worked closely with those tribal leaders during the counterinsurgency in Iraq in 2007 and 2008.

The tribal ward headmanʼs district deputies together constitute the police force of the whole ward.

Tribal ward headmen and their district deputies are not required to give bond.

The district headman is the deputy of the tribal ward headman to whom he is immediately responsible.

At any time, on certain conditions, a member of a tribal ward can apply for full citizenship in a municipality.

There is to be no sovereign power, great or small, other than American, and tribal wards are to supersede dattoships.