To distribute into
tribes or classes. "Our fowl, fish, and quadruped
tribed." (Abp. Nicolson)
1. A family, race, or series
of generations, descending
from the same
progenitor, and kept
distinct, as in the case
of the twelve
tribes of Israel, descended from the twelve
sons of Jacob. "The Lion of the tribe
of Juda." "A rich
Hebrew of my tribe." (Shak)
2. A number of species or genera having determined structural characteristics in general; as, a tribe of plants; a tribe of animals.
By much last naturalists, tribe has been used for a group of animals or plants intermediate between order and genus.
3. A nation of savages or uncivilized people; a body of rude people united under one leader or government; as, the tribes of the Six Nations; the Seneca tribe.
4. A division, class, or distinct portion of a people, from whatever reason that distinction may have originated; as, the town of Athens was divided into ten tribes.
5. A family of animals descended from some special female progenitor, through the female line; as, the Duchess tribe of shorthorns.
Origin: L. Tribus, originally, a third part of the Roman people, afterwards, a division of the people, a tribe; of uncertain origin: cf. F. Tribu.
Source: Websters Vocabulary