- (among some North American Indians)
- the chief of a tribe.
- the chief of a confederation.
- a member of the governing body of the League of the Iroquois.
- one of the high officials in the Tammany Society.
- Slang. a political party leader.
Origin of sachem
Examples from the Web for sachem
The sachem of tribes, or tribal-chief is chosen by chiefs of the gentes.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
When they arrived at Corbitant's house they found the sachem not at home.
Their sachem, Uncas, had his royal residence in the present town of Norwich.
The sachem set a chair for her and relieved her of the staff and her bag.Joan of Arc of the North Woods
The sachem saw all this, and his mighty spirit was stirred within him.Burl
- US a leader of a political party or organization, esp of Tammany Hall
- another name for sagamore
Word Origin and History for sachem
chief of an American Indian tribe, 1620s, from Narragansett (Algonquian) sachim "chief, ruler," cognate with Abenaki sangman, Delaware sakima, Micmac sakumow, Penobscot sagumo. Applied jocularly to a prominent member of any society from 1680s; specific political use in U.S. is from 1890, from its use as the title of the 12 high officials of the Tammany Society of New York.