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[shaw-nee] /ʃɔˈni/
noun, plural Shawnees (especially collectively) Shawnee.
a member of an Algonquian-speaking tribe formerly in the east-central U.S., now in Oklahoma.
the Algonquian language of the Shawnee tribe.
a town in E Kansas.
a city in central Oklahoma.
Origin of Shawnee
Munsee Delaware
1720-30, Americanism; back formation from earlier Shawnese, Shawanese (construed as plural), reshaping (with -ese) of earlier Shawanoes (plural) < Munsee Delaware šá·wano·w (singular) < Shawnee ša·wano·ki Shawnees, literally, people of the south Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shawnees
Historical Examples
  • As the shawnees failed to make a fire, Spotted Deer believed that they feared pursuit.

    Spotted Deer Elmer Gregor
  • The girl, just rescued from the shawnees, was a comely maiden.

    The Riflemen of the Miami Edward S. Ellis
  • When the shawnees arrived home, they said they had come near being killed, and the Osages refused to receive their talk.

    Myths of the Cherokee James Mooney
  • I came near firing when I beheld two shawnees making for the timber.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • Henry nodded in agreement, and they whispered to the others that Wyatt and three shawnees were passing.

    The Keepers of the Trail Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Now that we know your medicine is weak and foolish they belong to all the shawnees.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • The shawnees were the first emigrant tribe to arrive in the Territory.

    Legends of The Kaw Carrie de Voe
  • He asked how many men Boone could lead against the shawnees.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • The governor replied that the lands had been received from other tribes, and that the shawnees had no business to interfere.

    Sustained honor John R. Musick,
  • The shawnees have been associated with the Delawares 185 years.

    The Prairie Traveler Randolph Marcy
British Dictionary definitions for shawnees


(pl) -nees, -nee. a member of a North American Indian people formerly living along the Tennessee River
the language of this people, belonging to the Algonquian family
Word Origin
C20: back formation from obsolete Shawnese, from Shawnee Shaawanwaaki people of the south, from shaawanawa south
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 shawnees


Algonquian people, probably originally from what is now southern Ohio, 1670s, from Munsee sawanow, from Shawnee /ša:wanwa/, the people's self-designation, literally "person of the south."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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shawnees in Culture
Shawnees [(shaw-neez)]

A tribe of Native Americans who inhabited Ohio, Indiana, and other parts of the Middle West during the early nineteenth century. The most famous Shawnee leader was Tecumseh, who joined with the British against the Americans during the War of 1812.

The American Heritage® 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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