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[shahy-en, -an] /ʃaɪˈɛn, -ˈæn/
noun, plural Cheyennes (especially collectively) Cheyenne for 1.
a member of a North American Indian people of the western plains, formerly in central Minnesota and North and South Dakota, and now divided between Montana and Oklahoma.
an Algonquian language, the language of the Cheyenne Indians.
a city in and the capital of Wyoming, in the S part.


[wahy-oh-ming] /waɪˈoʊ mɪŋ/
a state in the NW United States. 97,914 sq. mi. (253,595 sq. km).
Capital: Cheyenne.
Abbreviation: WY (for use with zip code), Wyo., Wy.
a city in W Michigan, near Grand Rapids.
Related forms
[wahy-oh-ming-ahyt] /waɪˈoʊ mɪŋˌaɪt/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Cheyenne
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All that is left of the Cheyenne Bundle is now with the remnant of the tribe in Oklahoma.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • It is a little better than the work of an Apache, but not quite so good as that of a Cheyenne.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • There are between Omaha and Cheyenne but three bridges worthy of the name.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • The second day they fell in with Turkey Leg and a Cheyenne war party.

    The Mountain Divide Frank H. Spearman
  • He could crawl through a Cheyenne village with a camp-fire on his back.

    The Mountain Divide Frank H. Spearman
British Dictionary definitions for Cheyenne


(pl) -enne, -ennes. a member of a Native American people of the western Plains, now living chiefly in Montana and Oklahoma
the language of this people, belonging to the Algonquian family
Word Origin
via Canadian French from Dakota Shaiyena, from shaia to speak incoherently, from sha red + ya to speak


/ʃaɪˈæn; -ˈɛn/
a city in SE Wyoming, capital of the state. Pop: 54 374 (2003 est)


a state of the western US: consists largely of ranges of the Rockies in the west and north, with part of the Great Plains in the east and several regions of hot springs. Capital: Cheyenne. Pop: 501 242 (2003 est). Area: 253 597 sq km (97 914 sq miles) Abbreviation Wyo, Wy, (with zip code) WY
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Cheyenne

1778, from French Canadian, from Dakota Sahi'yena, a diminutive of Sahi'ya, a Dakotan name for the Cree people.


region in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, from Munsee Delaware (Algonquian) chwewamink "at the big river flat," from /xw-/ "big" + /-e:wam-/ "river flat" + /-enk/ "place." Popularized by 1809 poem "Gertrude of Wyoming," set amid wars between Indians and American settlers, by Scottish author Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), who seems to have had a vague or defective notion of Pennsylvania geography. Subsequently applied 19c. to other locations, including a western territory organized July 25, 1868 (admitted as a state 1890); also used in Kansas, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming!
Although the wild-flower on thy ruin'd wall,
And roofless homes, a sad remembrance bring,
Of what thy gentle people did befall;
Yet thou wert once the loveliest land of all
That see the Atlantic wave their morn restore.
Sweet land! may I thy lost delights recall,
And paint thy Gertrude in her bowers of yore,
Whose beauty was the love of Pennsylvania's shore!
[Campbell, "Gertrude of Wyoming," 1809]

On the same day there was debate in the Senate over the name for the new Territory. Territories often keep their names when they become States, so we may be glad that "Cheyenne," to be pronounced "Shy-en," was not adopted. "Lincoln" was rejected for an obvious and, no doubt, sound reason. Apparently, nobody had a better name to offer, though there must be plenty of Indian words that could properly be used, and, for the present, the insignificant "Wyoming" is retained. ["The Nation," June 11, 1868]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Cheyenne in Culture

Wyoming definition

State in the western United States bordered by Montana to the north, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Colorado and Utah to the south, and Idaho to the west. Its capital is Cheyenne, and its largest city is Casper.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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