Definition of Mapuche in English:


Syllabification: Ma·pu·che
Pronunciation: /maˈpo͝oCHē

noun (plural same or Mapuches)

  • 1A member of an American Indian people of central Chile and adjacent parts of Argentina, noted for their resistance to colonial Spanish and later Chilean domination.
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    • In the south of the country, there were many tomas (land seizures) between November 1970 and April 1971, resulting in confrontations between farmers, campesinos and Mapuches (local indigenous people).
    • During the period of military rule in the 1970s and 1980s, employment opportunities and working conditions were closely linked to the Mapuches' struggle to preserve their ethnic identity.
    • Because Benetton's land is well fenced in other areas and Santa Rosa was known among Mapuche to be unoccupied, the family believed the plot was available.
  • 2The Araucanian language of the Mapuche.
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    • Spanish is the main language, but a handful of native languages including Aymara, Mapuche and Rapa Nui are also spoken.


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  • Relating to the Mapuche or their language.
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    • In addition, Chilean speech contains many words adopted from the Mapuche language as well as much chilenismos.
    • The Mapuche medicine woman or machi (doctor, priest and pharmacist all in one) say that their source of livelihood is being directly threatened by the desiccation of native forests.
    • A majority of Mapuche town dwellers live as urban workers.


the name in Mapuche, from mapu 'land' + che 'people'.

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