Definition of Cherokee in English:

Cherokee

nounplural noun Cherokee, plural noun Cherokees

  • 1A member of a North American people originally of the southeastern US, now living on reservations in Oklahoma and North Carolina.

    ‘Many Indians died when the United States army took the Cherokees to Oklahoma.’
    • ‘North Carolina forced the Cherokees out onto the Trail of Tears in the 1830s.’
    • ‘The offspring of unions between Cherokees became members of their mother's clan.’
    • ‘About one-quarter of the kids were Cherokees residing on a federal reservation.’
    • ‘Before European contact, the Cherokees practiced a gender-specific division of labor: women farmed and men hunted.’
  • 2The Iroquoian language of the Cherokee, which has had its own script since 1820 and has about 11,000 speakers.

    ‘It is used in the Indian churches and at the stomp grounds, and many children still grow up with Cherokee as their first language, learning English when they go to school.’
    • ‘So we were a literate people, therefore most of our mythology has been codified and has been written down, either in Cherokee or in Cherokee and then translated to English.’
    • ‘In the 1820's the most impressive cultural change was made as an actual written language derived from the Cherokee spoken word was created.’
    • ‘So I asked my friend in the dormitory about some sweet words in Cherokee.’
    • ‘The Cherokees recorded their laws and constitution and translated the Bible and numerous other works into Cherokee.’

Pronunciation

Cherokee

/ˈCHerəˌkē/ /ˈtʃɛrəˌki/

adjective

  • Relating to the Cherokee or their language.

    ‘The nation was overrun by refugees from the Creek and Cherokee nations, however, which were occupied by troops.’
    • ‘A Cherokee grandmother recited Crazy Horse's prophecy about these very times, as the Old Age closes.’
    • ‘For the first time since the race began, the colonel took down his glass and angrily addressed the Cherokee chief in his Indian language.’
    • ‘What I expect from this trip isn't much more than a few kitschy T-shirts, a cowboy hat, and perhaps a pair of authentic Cherokee moccasins.’
    • ‘I am an 80-year-old Cherokee Indian, and what the white man has done to this country is unbelievable.’

Pronunciation

Cherokee

/ˈCHerəˌkē/ /ˈtʃɛrəˌki/

Origin

From obsolete Cherokee tsaraki, earlier form of tsaliki.