noun, plural Sioux [soo, sooz] /su, suz/.

Origin of Sioux

1755–65, Americanism; < North American French, shortening of earlier Nadouessioux < Ojibwa (Ottawa dial.) na·towe·ssiw(ak) plural (< Proto-Algonquian *na·towe·hsiw-, derivative of *na·towe·wa Iroquoian, probably literally, speaker of a foreign language) + French -x plural marker Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sioux

Contemporary Examples of sioux

Historical Examples of sioux

  • January 29, 1909, he died at his home in Sioux Falls after a brief illness.

  • “We are in real Sioux country now,” observed Scott, as he again dismounted.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • They rode westward, doubtless to make a raid on their enemies, the Sioux.

    A Gold Hunter's Experience

    Chalkley J. Hambleton

  • But if she had thought it a Sioux and Comanche story, it would have been the same to her.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • Including the Yanktons, a branch of the Sioux, there were some 205 lodges.

British Dictionary definitions for sioux



plural Sioux (suː, suːz) a member of a group of North American Indian peoples formerly ranging over a wide area of the Plains from Lake Michigan to the Rocky Mountains
any of the Siouan languages

Word Origin for Sioux

from French, shortened from Nadowessioux, from Chippewa Nadoweisiw
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 sioux


group of North American Indian tribes, 1761, from North American French, short for Nadouessioux, sometimes said to be from Ojibway (Algonquian) Natowessiwak (plural), literally "little snakes," from nadowe "Iroquois" (literally "big snakes"). Another explanation traces it to early Ottawa (Algonquian) singular /na:towe:ssi/ (plural /na:towe:ssiwak/) "Sioux," apparently from a verb meaning "to speak a foreign language" [Bright]. In either case, a name given by their neighbors; the people's name for themselves is Dakota.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sioux in Culture



A common name for the Dakota people, a tribe of Native Americans inhabiting the northern Great Plains in the nineteenth century. They were famed as warriors and frequently took up arms in the late nineteenth century to oppose the settlement of their hunting grounds and sacred places. In 1876, Sioux warriors, led by Chief Sitting Bull, and commanded in the field by Chief Crazy Horse, overwhelmed the United States cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. (See Custer's last stand.) A group of Sioux under Chief Big Foot were massacred by United States troops at Wounded Knee in 1890.

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.