- a group of more than 200 languages belonging to the Niger-Congo language subfamily, including Swahili, Xhosa, and Zulu
- pl. -·tus· or -·tu· a member of any of the Bantu-speaking peoples living throughout the S half of the African continent
Origin of BantuBantu ba-ntu, the men ; from ba, variant, variety of aba, plural prefix + -ntu, man: coined (1850s) by W. H. I. Bleek, librarian of the British governor of the Cape Colony
nounpl. Bantu or Ban·tus
- A member of any of a large number of linguistically related peoples of central and southern Africa.
- A group of over 400 closely related languages spoken in central, east-central, and southern Africa, belonging to the eastern branch of the Benue-Congo group of the Niger-Congo language family and including Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Zulu, and Xhosa.
Origin of BantuFrom Proto-Bantu *bantu, people : *ba-, pl. human pref. + *-ntu, entity.
Black South Africans were at times officially called "Bantus" by the Apartheid regime. New legislation and documents from the South African government have replaced "Bantu" with "Black" due to the former word's derogatory connotations. Outside Southern Africa the term is still widely used as a term for the Bantu-speaking peoples.
Xhosa bantu (“people”).