Tribe. n.s. [tribu, Fr. tribus, Lat. from trev, b and v being labials of promiscuous use in the ancient British words; trev from tir ef, his lands, is supposed to be Celtick, and used before the Romans had any thing to do with the British government; to prove which Mr. Rowland offers many reasons, which he mentions by imagining that centuriæ is derived from trev, supposing it to be the same with our centrev, importing a hundred trevs or tribes.]
- A distinct body of the people as divided by family or fortune, or any other characteristick.
I ha' been writing all this night unto all the tribes
And centuries for their voices, to help Catiline
In his election. Benj. Johnson's Cataline.
If the heads of the tribes can be taken off, and the misled multitude will see their error, such extent of mercy is honourable. Bacon's Advice to Villiers.
Who now shall rear you to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from th' ambrosial fount. Milton.
Straggling mountaineers, for publick good,
To rank in tribes, and quit the savage wood,
Houses to build. Tate.
I congratulate my country upon the increase of this happy tribe of men, since, by the present parliament, the race of freeholders is spreading into the remotest corners. Addison.
- It is often used in contempt.
Folly and vice are easy to describe,
The common subjects of our scribbling tribe. Roscommon.