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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Kraal \Kraal\ (kr[aum]l or kr[add]l; 277), n. [D., a village, inclosure, park, prob. fr. Pg. curral a cattle pen; the same word as Sp. corral. See Corral.]

  1. A collection of huts within a stockade; a village; sometimes, a single hut. [South Africa]

  2. An inclosure into which are driven wild elephants which are to be tamed and educated. [Ceylon]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"village, pen, enclosure," 1731, South African, from colonial Dutch kraal, from Portuguese curral (see corral).


n. 1 In Central and Southern Africa, a small rural community. 2 In Central and Southern Africa, a rural village of huts surrounded by a stockade. 3 An enclosure for livestock. vb. To enclose livestock within a kraal or stockade.

  1. n. a village of huts for native Africans in southern Africa; usually surrounded by a stockade

  2. a pen for livestock in southern Africa


Kraal (also spelled craal or kraul) is an Afrikaans and Dutch word (also used in South African English) for an enclosure for cattle or other livestock, located within an African settlement or village surrounded by a fence of thorn-bush branches, a palisade, mud wall, or other fencing, roughly circular in form. It is similar to a boma in eastern or central Africa.

In Curaçao, another Dutch colony, the enclosure was called "koraal" which in Papiamentu is translated "kura" (still in use today for any enclosed terrain, like a garden).

Usage examples of "kraal".

It was with this assegai that Mopo his servant, who vanished from the land after the death of Dingaan, let out the life of the Black One at the kraal Duguza, but what became of it afterwards none have heard for certain.

There was a biggish kraal in the bottom, and a lot of goats and leggy Kaffir sheep on the slopes.

The Coral Kraal, and a boat big enough to make the trips to Aruba and Bonaire where he planned to run the best underwater safari south of St Lucia.

At the kraal the king sent for me and questioned me in a dark hut, pretending to be alone, but I who am a doctoress knew that two other men were in that hut, taking note of all my words.

Ag-413 was the location of the final recorded sighting of the Esen Monster, and its supposed destruction by the Kraal.

On reaching the kraal we saw that the Masai had still further choked this entrance, which was about ten feet wide -- no doubt in order to guard against attack -- by dragging four or five tops of mimosa trees up to it.

With an universal howl of terror and fury the brawny crowd of savages within the kraal sprang to their feet, many of them to fall again beneath our well-directed hail of lead before they had moved a yard.

As soon as it was light, it would be his duty to supervise the digging of the grave in the centre of the cattle kraal, so he was not surprised when there was a soft scratching at the doorway and he called softly to Juba to enter.

The junket had spent the afternoon at a ramshackle kraal, actually little more than a shantytown.

I would drive them straight to the kraal, and denounce Noma before the chief, my father, and all the people.

No, I would go on to the kraal with them, and tell all men that Noma was a thief.

In due course we arrived at the gate of the kraal, where we found the heralds and the praisers prancing and shouting.

She said also that she had made up her mind that if she saw no signs of succour by the time the first rays of the rising sun reached the kraal she would kill herself with the pistol, for the nurse had heard the Lygonani say that they were to be tortured to death as soon as the sun was up if one of the white men did not come in their place.

Kraal was a cluster of kyas and rondavels, shaped in a half-moon, with a flat space between the houses, where grew a big merula tree.

In a little while we came to the two milk trees by the main gate of the kraal, where much of our saddlery still lay scattered about, though the guns had gone.