[ sey-chuh m ]
/ ˈseɪ tʃəm /


(among some North American Indians)
  1. the chief of a tribe.
  2. 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

1615–25, Americanism; < southeastern New England Algonquian (compare Narragansett (E spelling) sâchim, saunchum, Massachusett sontim) < Proto-Algonquian *sa˙kima˙wa; cf. sagamore

Related forms

sa·chem·dom, nounsa·chem·ic [sey-chem-ik, sey-chuh-mik] /seɪˈtʃɛm ɪk, ˈseɪ tʃə mɪk/, adjectivesa·chem·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sachem

British Dictionary definitions for sachem


/ (ˈseɪtʃəm) /


US a leader of a political party or organization, esp of Tammany Hall
another name for sagamore

Derived Forms

sachemic (seɪˈtʃɛmɪk, ˈseɪtʃə-), adjective

Word Origin for sachem

C17: from Narraganset sǎchim chief
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