Meaning of Cree in English:


Pronunciation /kriː/

nounCree, Crees

  • 1A member of an indigenous people living in a vast area of central Canada.

    ‘The second part of the strategy to induce the Crees to stay in Canada included the abandonment of Fort Walsh in May 1883.’
    • ‘This Offshore Overlap Agreement is another important step in Crees and Inuit co-operation and sharing.’
    • ‘Indian Affairs came to control the political affairs of the Crees under the Indian Act, and minimal social services such as pensions became available to many.’
    • ‘In his memoirs, Granville Stuart alleged that bands of Crees and other ‘British’ Indians butchered thousands of head of cattle during winter 1880.’
    • ‘As well, the Crees retained eligibility for all Indian Affairs programs, such as those for housing.’
  • 2mass noun The Algonquian language of the Cree, closely related to Montagnais. It has about 60,000 speakers.

    ‘And that's in Cree, which comes from the Algonquin language.’
    • ‘There are Masses in Cree, Chipweyan, Blackfoot and Dene as well as English.’
    • ‘It is related linguistically to the languages not only of the Ottawa and Potawatomi but also of the Fox, Cree, and Menominee.’
    • ‘The old thinking was that it came from Cree, derogatorily meaning, ‘Eaters of Raw Meat.’’
    • ‘The flicker of candles provided the only light and the rafters creaked along, shaking with the sound of elders singing in Cree.’


  • Relating to the Cree or their language.

    ‘It comes from the language of the Cree tribe further south, where it means ‘eater of raw meat’.’
    • ‘Some sports will also take place in Fort Chipewyan, a small isolated Cree community a 30-minute flight from Fort McMurray.’
    • ‘The provisions combine a high degree of Cree participation in elementary and secondary education, with final decision-making and legislative power resting in Quebec.’
    • ‘But determining the amount of Cree land surrendered is especially complicated given that the agreement confirms varying degrees of Cree rights in the whole region.’
    • ‘Ninety-six percent of the company's power comes from hydroelectricity, half of which is generated on Cree territory, she said.’


From Canadian French Cris, abbreviation of Cristinaux, from Algonquian.