Share this entry

Share this page

sachem

Line breaks: sa¦chem
Pronunciation: /ˈseɪtʃəm
 
, ˈsatʃəm
 
/

Definition of sachem in English:

noun

1(Among some American Indian peoples) a chief.
Example sentences
  • The leading sachem Massasoit told them that the population had been destroyed by a sickness.
  • The elder clan mothers in matrilineal Iroquois society had the power to choose the sachems, or peace chiefs, for each of their clans.
  • Like the sachem of the Iroquois and the Lakota of the Plains, Hawaiian chiefs, too, had to adapt to survive and compete against the European intruders, and did so with some success.
1.1North American informal A boss or leader: a Mafia sachem
More example sentences
  • There came a moment of extraordinary professional solidarity from the sachems of journalism in response.

Origin

from Narragansett, 'chief, sagamore'.

Definition of sachem in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
noun
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words