Definition of American Indian in English:

American Indian

Line breaks: Ameri|can In¦dian

noun

  • A member of any of the groups of indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America, especially those of North America.
    More example sentences
    • But the chart toppers were not alone as punks, a mechanic and a North American Indian took to the streets of Whitworth to raise money for eight-year-old Rose.
    • This is the third installment in a trilogy of works by the native theatre company that examines what it means to be North American Indian in the 21st century.
    • I have a Hebrew last name even though I am not Jewish, but North American Indian.

adjective

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  • Relating to American Indians.
    More example sentences
    • Students turn their attention to the study of American Indian tribes, including the Hopi, Navajo, Apache and others.
    • Until about 20 years ago, the Navajo language was one of the most resilient American Indian languages in modern U.S. history.
    • As with other American Indian languages and cultures, those of the Navajos have undergone and continue to undergo tremendous changes.

Usage

The term American Indian has been steadily replaced in the US, especially in official contexts, by Native American (first recorded in the 1950s and becoming prominent in the 1970s). The latter is preferred by some as being a more accurate and respectful description (the word Indian recalling Columbus' assumption that, on reaching America, he had reached the east coast of India), as well as avoiding the stereotype of cowboys and Indians in the stories of the Wild West. American Indian is still widespread in general use even in the US, however, partly because it is not normally regarded as offensive by American Indians themselves. Nevertheless, since the category American Indian is very broad, it is preferable, where possible, to name the specific people, such as Apache, Comanche, or Sioux.

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