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tribe

[trahyb]
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noun
  1. any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs and traditions, adherence to the same leaders, etc.
  2. a local division of an aboriginal people.
  3. a division of some other people.
  4. a class or type of animals, plants, articles, or the like.
  5. Animal Husbandry. a group of animals, especially cattle, descended through the female line from a common female ancestor.
  6. Biology.
    1. a category in the classification of organisms usually between a subfamily and a genus or sometimes between a suborder and a family.
    2. any group of plants or animals.
  7. a company, group, or number of persons.
  8. a class or set of persons, especially one with strong common traits or interests.
  9. a large family.
  10. Roman History.
    1. any one of three divisions of the people representing the Latin, Sabine, and Etruscan settlements.
    2. any of the later political divisions of the people.
  11. Greek History. a phyle.
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Origin of tribe

1200–50; Middle English < Latin tribus tribe, orig., each of the three divisions of the Roman people; often taken as derivative of trēs three, though formation unclear
Related formssub·tribe, nounun·der·tribe, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tribe

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His name was Joseph and he belonged to the tribe of the Hebrews.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • He sat in the midst of a circle of lamplighters, and was the cacique, or chief of the tribe.

    The Lamplighter

    Charles Dickens

  • All that is left of the Cheyenne Bundle is now with the remnant of the tribe in Oklahoma.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • But we saw afterward that it was for the Tribe, and for our wrong the Tribe suffered.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The Medicine Bundle of the tribe is as sacred to them as our flag is to us.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin


British Dictionary definitions for tribe

tribe

noun
  1. a social division of a people, esp of a preliterate people, defined in terms of common descent, territory, culture, etc
  2. (an ethnic or ancestral division of ancient cultures, esp of one of the following)
    1. any of the three divisions of the ancient Romans, the Latins, Sabines, and Etruscans
    2. one of the later political divisions of the Roman people
    3. any of the 12 divisions of ancient Israel, each of which was named after and believed to be descended from one of the 12 patriarchs
    4. a phyle of ancient Greece
  3. informal, often jocular
    1. a large number of persons, animals, etc
    2. a specific class or group of persons
    3. a family, esp a large one
  4. biology a taxonomic group that is a subdivision of a subfamily
  5. stockbreeding a strain of animals descended from a common female ancestor through the female line
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Derived Formstribeless, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Latin tribus; probably related to Latin trēs three
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 tribe

n.

mid-13c., "one of the twelve divisions of the ancient Hebrews," from Old French tribu, from Latin tribus "one of the three political/ethnic divisions of the original Roman state" (Tites, Ramnes, and Luceres, corresponding, perhaps, to the Latins, Sabines, and Etruscans), later, one of the 30 political divisions instituted by Servius Tullius (increased to 35 in 241 B.C.E.), perhaps from tri- "three" + *bhu-, root of the verb be. Others connect the word with the root of Welsh tref "town, inhabited place."

In the Biblical sense, which was the original one in English, the Latin word translates Greek phyle "race or tribe of men, body of men united by ties of blood and descent, a clan" (see physic). Extension to any ethnic group or race of people is first recorded 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tribe in Medicine

tribe

(trīb)
n.
  1. An occasional taxonomic category placed between a subfamily and a genus or between a suborder and a family and usually containing several genera.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.