Meaning of Cayuse in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkʌɪjuːs/

See synonyms for Cayuse on

nounplural noun Cayuse, plural noun Cayuses

  • 1A member of a North American people of Washington State and Oregon.

    ‘the specimen was excavated on the traditional lands of the Cayuse’
    • ‘Among the Cayuses and Walla Wallas, the buffalo hunters, we are told, referred to themselves as ‘Prairie Indians’ and employed a new vocabulary reflective of their distinctive experiences in buffalo country.’
    • ‘Later on, a band of Cayuses attacked the mission and killed the Whitmans and 12 other people.’
    • ‘In River Pigs and Cayuses, he gathers stories from old-timers in Washington, Idaho, and Montana.’
    • ‘She was held hostage by the Cayuses as an interpreter and was eventually released and reunited with her parents.’
    • ‘The deeply ingrained incursive life-style of the Cayuses had kept their numbers small.’
    • ‘Garry indicated that it might be acceptable to make peace with the Cayuses, without involving the Yakima tribe.’
    • ‘Most of the men who could be spared at once volunteered for service in the campaign against the Cayuses.’
    • ‘They remained there two days and had a big talk with the Cayuses, who were very sore about the sale of their land.’
    • ‘All the Cayuses in the camp were killed except the children.’
    • ‘Indeed, by 1837, Marcus Whitman noted that the younger Cayuses spoke only Nez Percé and could no longer understand their native language.’
    • ‘The Nez Perce are with them; the Cayuses, Walla Wallas, and other tribes say they do not understand them.’
  • 2mass noun The extinct Penutian language of the Cayuse.

    • ‘as the only one who spoke Cayuse, she acted as the translator’
  • 3

    (also cayuse)
    A type of pony used by some North American Indian peoples.

    ‘the man rode a cayuse’
    • ‘Five thousand he offered, and we were broke, but we remembered the poison grass of the Summit and the passage in the Rocks, and the man who was my brother spoke no word, but divided the cayuses into two bunches, - his in the one and mine in the other, - and he looked at me and we understood each other.’
    • ‘The Blackfeet and other enemy tribes raided Shoshoni camps for horses, yet allied tribes ‘visited them for the purpose of swapping and bartering for their cayuses.’’
    • ‘They knelt down on command to receive hundreds of pounds of flour each and then ‘rose and traveled off with as much ease as a Cayuse pony would if laden with a miner's outfit.’’
    1. 3.1North American informal A horse.
      • ‘leaning forward on their hardy little cayuses they dash down the racecourse like the wind’


  • Relating to the Cayuse or their language.

    ‘the local Cayuse people staunchly defended their customs’
    • ‘The next year he returned to Indiana and made a second trip back to Oregon. lie served as commissary-general of volunteer forces in the Cayuse War, and as peace emissary to persuade neighboring tribes not to join the Cayuse Indians.’
    • ‘Curiously, in Farnham's case, he encountered a Christian Cayuse family in the Blue Mountains of Oregon.’


The name in Chinook Jargon.