- tribe [trīb]n.[ME trybe < L tribus, one of the three groups into which Romans were orig. divided, tribe < tri- (see TRI-) + IE * bhū- < base * bheu-, to grow, flourish > BE]1. esp. among preliterate peoples, a group of persons, families, or clans believed to be descended from a common ancestor and forming a close community under a leader, or chief2. a group of this kind having recognized ancestry; specif.,a) any of the three divisions of the ancient Romans, traditionally of Latin, Sabine, and Etruscan originb) any of the later political and territorial divisions of the ancient Romansc) any of the phylae of ancient Greeced) any of the twelve divisions of the ancient Israelites3. any group of people having the same occupation, habits, ideas, etc.: often in a somewhat derogatory sense [the tribe of drama critics]4. a taxonomic category that is a subdivision of a subfamily of plants or animals and consists of several closely related genera5. a natural group of plants or animals classified together without regard for their taxonomic relations6. in stock breeding, the animals descended from the same female through the female line7. Informal a family, esp. a large one
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.