1605–15, Americanism; construed as singular of Mexican Spanish tamales, plural of tamal < Nahuatl tamalli

Dictionary.com Unabridged


a city in N Ghana.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tamale
World English Dictionary
tamale (təˈmɑːlɪ)
a Mexican dish made of minced meat mixed with crushed maize and seasonings, wrapped in maize husks and steamed
[C19: erroneously for tamal, from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl tamalli]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1856, from Amer.Sp. tamales, pl. of tamal, from Nahuatl tamal, tamalli, a food made of Indian corn and meat.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


town, north-central Ghana. Surrounded by villages with high population densities, it lies 600 feet (183 m) above sea level on a plain 22 miles (35 km) east of the White Volta River. With its modern buildings and wide streets, Tamale serves as the administrative, financial, commercial, and transportation centre for northern Ghana. It is also an educational centre, having several teacher-training colleges, several secondary schools, and facilities for artisan training. The Vernacular Literature Bureau there also provides newspapers and literature for mass literacy campaigns. The town is a focus for agricultural trade and has cotton-milling and shea-nut enterprises. The main road northward from Kumasi passes through Tamale, and other roads reach it from east and west; there is also an airport. Since the mid-1970s, government aid has emphasized road reconstruction, market expansion, industrial development, and sanitation improvements. Pop. (2002 est.) 269,200

Learn more about Tamale with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature