[ uh-pahsh, uh-pash; French a-pash ]
/ əˈpɑʃ, əˈpæʃ; French aˈpaʃ /

noun, plural a·paches [uh-pah-shiz, uh-pash-iz; French a-pash] /əˈpɑ ʃɪz, əˈpæʃ ɪz; French aˈpaʃ/.

a Parisian gangster, rowdy, or ruffian.

Origin of apache

1735–45, Americanism; < French: Apache

Definition for apaches (2 of 2)


[ uh-pach-ee ]
/ əˈpætʃ i /

noun, plural A·pach·es, (especially collectively) A·pach·e.

a member of an Athabaskan people of the southwestern U.S.
any of the several Athabaskan languages of Arizona and the Rio Grande basin.
Military. a two-man U.S. Army helicopter designed to attack enemy armor with rockets or a 30mm gun and equipped for use in bad weather and in darkness.

Origin of Apache

1915–20; < Mexican Spanish, perhaps < Zuni ʔa·paču Navajos, presumably applied formerly to the Apacheans (Navajos and Apaches) generally
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apaches

British Dictionary definitions for apaches (1 of 2)


/ (əˈpɑːʃ, -ˈpæʃ, French apaʃ) /


a Parisian gangster or ruffian

Word Origin for apache

from French: Apache

British Dictionary definitions for apaches (2 of 2)


/ (əˈpætʃɪ) /


plural Apaches or Apache a member of a North American Indian people, formerly nomadic and warlike, inhabiting the southwestern US and N Mexico
the language of this people, belonging to the Athapascan group of the Na-Dene phylum

Word Origin for Apache

from Mexican Spanish, probably from Zuñi Apachu, literally: enemy
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

Word Origin and History for apaches


1745, from American Spanish (1598), probably from Yavapai (a Yuman language) 'epache "people." Sometimes derived from Zuni apachu "enemy" (cf. F.W. Hodge, "American Indians," 1907), but this seems to have been the Zuni name for the Navajo.

French journalistic sense of "Parisian gangster or thug" first attested 1902. Apache dance was the World War I-era equivalent of 1990s' brutal "slam dancing." Fenimore Cooper's Indian novels were enormously popular in Europe throughout the 19c., and comparisons of Cooper's fictional Indian ways in the wilderness and underworld life in European cities go back to Dumas' "Les Mohicans de Paris" (1854-1859). It is probably due to the imitations of Cooper (amounting almost to plagiarisms) by German author Karl May (1842-1912) that Apaches replaced Mohicans in popular imagination. Also cf. Mohawk.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for apaches


[ (uh-pach-eez) ]

A tribe of Native Americans who live in the southwestern United States. Geronimo was an Apache.

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