tribe

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun a category between subfamily and genus in the scientific classification of living things

Military

  • noun a group of families or communities sharing a common language or dialect, distinct ethnic or religious links, and a strong sense of group identity and loyalty to their own leaders

Origin & History of “tribe”

Tribe comes via Old French tribu from Latin tribus ‘division of the Roman people’. this was probably derived from the base *tri- ‘three’, and denoted etymologically the ‘three original tribes of Rome’ – the Tities, the Ramnes, and the Luceres. The ‘head of a tribe’ was known as a tribūnus, whence English tribune (14th c.); and the verb for ‘give out amongst the tribes’ was tribuere, source of English contribute (16th c.), distribute (15th c.), retribution (14th c.), and tribute (14th c.).
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