[cher-uh-kee, cher-uh-kee]

noun, plural Cher·o·kees, (especially collectively) Cher·o·kee for 1.

a member of an important tribe of North American Indians whose first known center was in the southern Alleghenies and who presently live in North Carolina and Oklahoma.
the Iroquoian language of the Cherokee, written since 1822 in a syllabic script invented for the language by Sequoya. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cherokees

Contemporary Examples of cherokees

  • The story goes on to marvel that “15 percent of the Cherokees built at the Ohio plant” are “destined for international markets.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    When Campaign Spin Becomes Fact

    Stuart Stevens

    March 21, 2014

  • "You feel the fate of John Ross and the Cherokees," author Hampton Sides wrote of Hicks' "probing, eloquent" history.

    The Daily Beast logo
    This Week's Hot Reads

    The Daily Beast

    January 4, 2011

Historical Examples of cherokees

British Dictionary definitions for cherokees



plural -kees or -kee a member of a Native American people formerly living in and around the Appalachian Mountains, now chiefly in Oklahoma; one of the Iroquois peoples
the language of this people, belonging to the Iroquoian family
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 cherokees


1670s, from Cherokee Tsaragi.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for cherokees



A Native American tribe who lived in the Southeast in the early nineteenth century; the Cherokees were known as one of the “civilized tribes” because they built schools and published a newspaper. In the 1830s, the United States government forcibly removed most of the tribe to reservations west of the Mississippi River. (See Trail of Tears.)

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.