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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Kaffir \Kaf"fir\ (k[a^]f"f[~e]r), Kafir \Ka"fir\ (k[aum]"f[~e]r), n. [Ar. k[=a]fir infidel, pagan, fr. kafara to be skeptical in religious matters; -- a name given to certain infidel races by the Mohammedans. Cf. Giaour.]

  1. (Ethnol.)

    1. One of a race which, with the Hottentots and Bushmen, inhabit South Africa. They inhabit the country north of Cape Colony, the name being now specifically applied to the tribes living between Cape Colony and Natal, including the Ponda, Xosa, and Tembu; but the Zulus of Natal are true Kaffirs.

    2. One of a race inhabiting Kafiristan in Central Asia.

  2. Any Black African; -- a disparaging and offensive term used by white South Africans. [South Africa]

    Syn: kaffir, caffer, caffre.

    Kaffir corn (Bot.), a Cape Colony name for Indian millet.


Caffre \Caf"fre\, n. See Kaffir. [1913 Webster] ||


n. (obsolete form of kaffir English)


n. an offensive term for any Black African [syn: kaffir, kafir, caffer]

Usage examples of "caffre".

The feelings of all the Caffre tribes were utterly hostile, and peace was only attainable by the exercise of indisputable force.

Himalayan ridge or Caffre bush, even the plague-cursed Guinea Coast swamp would suit him better.

Into a beastly scrap of ground which a Turk would reject as a savage abomination and a Caffre would shudder at, they bring our dear brother here departed to receive Christian burial.

Surely it is absurd on our part to quarrel with Caffre warfare, with New Zealand fighting, and the rest of it.

The boors on the Caffre frontier were often plundered by the bushmen, and perhaps occasionally by some few of the Caffres who were in a lawless state on the frontier.

If the bushmen stole a few head of cattle, complaints were immediately forwarded to Cape Town, and permission asked to raise a force, and recover them from the Caffres.

As the colony increased, so did the demand for land, until the whole of the country that was worth having was disposed of as far as to the country of the Caffres, a fine warlike race, of whom we will speak hereafter.

The Caffres also cultivate their land to a certain extent, and are more cleanly and civilized.

The prejudices against the Hottentots, and particularly the Caffres, still existed, and were imbibed by the colonial authorities.

This extent of thirty thousand square miles belonged to the Caffres, and was the site of continual skirmishing and marauding between the Dutch boors and the Caffres.

This was an act of injustice and great hardship, and was proceeded in with extreme cruelty, the Caffres being obliged to leave all their crops, and turned out with great and unnecessary slaughter.

He was a chief of a portion of the Caffres, but not the principal chief, and although the English treated with him as such, the Caffres would not acknowledge his authority.

As this was a war between the Caffres, and confined to their own land, we certainly had no business to interfere.

The commandant, who had supposed the message to be a mere bravado, was very ill prepared when on the following morning he perceived, to his great astonishment, the whole force of the Caffres on the heights above the town.

The Caffres rushed to the assault, and for some time were not to be checked.