• synonyms


or me·tis

[mey-tees, -tee]
noun, plural mé·tis [mey-tees, -teez] /meɪˈtis, -ˈtiz/.
  1. any person of mixed ancestry.
  2. (initial capital letter) Canadian. the offspring of an American Indian and a white person, especially one of French ancestry.
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Origin of métis

1810–20; < French, Middle French < Late Latin mixtīcius of mixed blood


noun Classical Mythology.
  1. a Titaness, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and the mother of Athena by Zeus. Zeus swallowed Metis, and Athena was born from his head.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for metis

Historical Examples

  • Here thousands of metis, or French half-breeds, had settled.

    The Canadian Dominion

    Oscar D. Skelton

  • Many of them are Metis, or half-breeds, the descendants of French and Indians.

  • The metis, of French and Chippewa blood, were famous as hunters and trappers.

  • Zeus, therefore, persuaded Metis to transform herself into a fly.

  • The Metis, on his side, covered the young nobleman with his carbine.

British Dictionary definitions for metis


noun plural -tis (-ˈtiːs, -ˈtiːz)
  1. a person of mixed parentage
  2. Canadian
    1. the offspring or a descendant of a French Canadian and a North American Indian
    2. a member or descendant of a group of such people, who established themselves in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as a distinct political and cultural force during the nineteenth century
  3. US a person having one eighth Black ancestry; octoroon
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Derived FormsMtisse (mɛˈtiːs), fem n

Word Origin

C19: from French, from Vulgar Latin mixtīcius (unattested) of mixed race; compare mestizo
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 metis


first wife of Zeus, from Greek Metis, literally "advice, wisdom, counsel; cunning, skill, craft," from PIE root *me- "to measure" (see meter (n.2)).

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"person of mixed parentage," especially French Canadian and North American Indian, from French métis, from Late Latin mixticus "of mixed race," from Latin mixtus "mixed," past participle of miscere "to mix, mingle" (see mix (v.)). Cf. mestizo.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper