A tribe is a traditional social group of people. Most tribes have existed much longer than existing states and countries.

Tribes follow rules and traditions that aren't connected to modern-day governments or mainstream societies. Indigenous people of North America lived (and many continue to live) in tribes, although the word itself is controversial — many of their members prefer the terms nation or ethnic group instead. Sometimes tribe is used to simply mean "family" or "clan," or even a large group: "A tribe of college students roamed the streets."

Primary Meanings of tribe

a social division of (usually preliterate) people
(biology) a taxonomic category between a genus and a subfamily
Full Definitions of tribe

n a social division of (usually preliterate) people

a tribe of ancient Athenians
Type of:
social group
people sharing some social relation

n a federation (as of American Indians)

federation of tribes
Type of:
a federation of tribes (especially Native American tribes)

n group of people related by blood or marriage

clan, kin, kin group, kindred, kinship group
Bronte sisters
a 19th century family of three sisters who all wrote novels
Marx Brothers
a family of United States comedians consisting of four brothers with an anarchic sense of humor
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mishpachah, mishpocha
(Yiddish) the entire family network of relatives by blood or marriage (and sometimes close friends)
family, family unit
primary social group; parents and children
your parents
family tree, genealogy
successive generations of kin
a clan or tribe identified by their kinship to a common totemic object
Tribes of Israel, Twelve Tribes of Israel
twelve kin groups of ancient Israel each traditionally descended from one of the twelve sons of Jacob
couple, match, mates
a pair of people who live together
man and wife, marriage, married couple
two people who are married to each other
ancestry, blood, blood line, bloodline, descent, line, line of descent, lineage, origin, parentage, pedigree, stemma, stock
the descendants of one individual
Lost Tribes
the ten Tribes of Israel that were deported into captivity in Assyria around 720 BC (leaving only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin)
Type of:
social group
people sharing some social relation

n (biology) a taxonomic category between a genus and a subfamily

Bovini, tribe Bovini
term not used technically; essentially coextensive with genus Bos
Bambuseae, tribe Bambuseae
Type of:
taxon, taxonomic category, taxonomic group
animal or plant group having natural relations

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