- pl. -·lis or -·li a member of a people living on Zanzibar and the nearby mainland
- the Northern Bantu language of this people, characterized by a vocabulary with many Arabic roots and used as a lingua franca in EC Africa and parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Origin of Swahili; from Arabic saw??il, plural of s??il, coast + -i, belonging to
nounpl. Swahili or Swa·hi·lis
- A Bantu language of the coast and islands of eastern Africa from Somalia to Mozambique. It is an official language of Tanzania and is widely used as a lingua franca in eastern and east-central Africa. Also called Kiswahili.
- An inhabitant of coastal eastern Africa for whom Swahili is the mother tongue.
Origin of SwahiliSwahili, from Arabic sawa&hlowdot;il&imacron;, of the coasts, from sawa&hlowdot;il, pl. of sa&hlowdot;il, coast, active participle of sa&hlowdot;ala, to scrape off, smooth; see š&hlowdot;l in Semitic roots.
From Swahili swahili, from plural of Arabic Ø³Ø§ØÙ„ (sÄá¸¥il, “coast").