noun (plural same or Cherokees)
1A member of an American Indian people formerly inhabiting much of the southern US, now living on reservations in Oklahoma and North Carolina.
- Many Indians died when the United States army took the Cherokees to Oklahoma.
- North Carolina forced the Cherokees out onto the Trail of Tears in the 1830s.
- The offspring of unions between Cherokees became members of their mother's clan.
2 [mass noun] The Iroquoian language of the Cherokee, which has had its own script since 1820 and has about 11,000 speakers.
- It is used in the Indian churches and at the stomp grounds, and many children still grow up with Cherokee as their first language, learning English when they go to school.
- So we were a literate people, therefore most of our mythology has been codified and has been written down, either in Cherokee or in Cherokee and then translated to English.
- In the 1820's the most impressive cultural change was made as an actual written language derived from the Cherokee spoken word was created.
Relating to the Cherokee or their language.
- The nation was overrun by refugees from the Creek and Cherokee nations, however, which were occupied by troops.
- A Cherokee grandmother recited Crazy Horse's prophecy about these very times, as the Old Age closes.
- For the first time since the race began, the colonel took down his glass and angrily addressed the Cherokee chief in his Indian language.
From obsolete Cherokee tsaraki, earlier form of tsaliki.
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