Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


1. a native or inhabitant of Nubia, an ancient region of NE Africa
2. the language spoken by the people of Nubia
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Nile Nubians, spoken in the northern Sudan and in Egypt by 1.5 million people (1970, estimate). Nubian belongs to the Chari-Nile branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages. The Nubian hill dialects of Kordofan (Midobi, Birked) and the languages of the Nubians in the Darfur region are related to Nubian.

Nubian consists of two dialect groups: Mahass-Fadija and Dongola-Kenuzi. Nubian and Meroitic are practically the only two ancient languages of Africa—with the exception of the Hamito-Semitic languages of Africa—that developed a writing system. When Nubia adopted Christianity, a Nubian alphabet (with written records dating from the eighth through 14th centuries) was devised from the Coptic alphabet. This first Nubian alphabet was later replaced by a writing system based on Arabic script. The ancient Nubian language is directly ancestral of the modern dialect of Mahass-Fadija.

Nubian is an inflectional language; it is characterized by internal inflection and suffixation. Most stems are monosyllabic. Nouns have three cases. Sandhi is common. The usual word order is subject-object-verb. Nubian grammar and, especially, vocabulary have been heavily influenced by Arabic.


Lepsius, R. Nubische Grammatik Berlin, 1880.
Zyhlarz, E. Grundzüge der nubischen Grammatik im christlichen Frühmittelalter. Leipzig, 1928.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sudanese are referring to her as "Kandaka," which means a Nubian queen Image Credit: Social Media Also in this package
An 18-member subcommittee subsequently drafted a bill outlining the creation, jurisdiction and responsibilities of an authority to oversee the return of the Nubian people to their villages, including regulations on how the land can be used.
Hussein told the Star at the Nubian Rights Forum Offices in Kibera that they are uncomfortable with the fact that none of the members of the Nubian community has held public office since independence.
The Nubian Ibex species is listed as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
A Nubian Ibex is a species of goats that dwells in the arid mountainous regions of Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, Lebanon and Sudan.
The inspiration behind Nubian Heritage was to bring the healing traditions of African black soap and shea butter to the black community, guided by the legacy of ancient Nubia, which at one time represented a global melting pot and the center of cultural trade.
A hero video for "Venture Out" brings together the passion Nubian Heritage consumers share for travel, discovery and wellness, and draws the parallel between the emotional charge of small choices, such as switching to a natural deodorant, to larger risks, such as climbing a mountain.
Under the terms of the LOI, Nubian has paid a CDN 25,000 deposit and has agreed to pay CDN 600,000 on closing, CDN 125,000 in cash and up to CDN 475,000 in common shares of the company calculated on the volume weighted average price for the 60 calendar days preceding the LOI date and four annual advanced net smelter royalty payments of CDN 162,500.
Nubian Heritage invests in women's shea butter cooperatives in Ghana, and helps them develop self-sustaining businesses.
"In a new attempt and in continuation of the series of conspiracies against the Nubians , ten security personnel closed the Mahas Community Club to prevent a demonstration called for by the Dam's resistance committee," the committee said in a statement released on Thursday.