noun, plural a·paches [uhpah-shiz, uhpash-iz; French apash] /əˈpɑ ʃɪz, əˈpæʃ ɪz; French aˈpaʃ/.

  1. a Parisian gangster, rowdy, or ruffian.

noun, plural A·pach·es, (especially collectively) A·pach·e.

  1. a member of an Athabaskan people of the southwestern U.S.
  2. any of the several Athabaskan languages of Arizona and the Rio Grande basin.
  3. Military. a two-man U.S. Army helicopter designed to attack enemy armor with rockets or a 30mm gun and equipped for use in bad weather and in darkness.


  1. a Parisian gangster or ruffian


  1. plural Apaches or Apache a member of a North American Indian people, formerly nomadic and warlike, inhabiting the southwestern US and N Mexico
  2. the language of this people, belonging to the Athapascan group of the Na-Dene phylum

1745, from American Spanish (1598), probably from Yavapai (a Yuman language) ‘epache “people.” Sometimes derived from Zuni apachu “enemy” (cf. F.W. Hodge, “American Indians,” 1907), but this seems to have been the Zuni name for the Navajo.

French journalistic sense of “Parisian gangster or thug” first attested 1902. Apache dance was the World War I-era equivalent of 1990s’ brutal “slam dancing.” Fenimore Cooper’s Indian novels were enormously popular in Europe throughout the 19c., and comparisons of Cooper’s fictional Indian ways in the wilderness and underworld life in European cities go back to Dumas’ “Les Mohicans de Paris” (1854-1859). It is probably due to the imitations of Cooper (amounting almost to plagiarisms) by German author Karl May (1842-1912) that Apaches replaced Mohicans in popular imagination. Also cf. Mohawk.

A tribe of Native Americans who live in the southwestern United States. Geronimo was an Apache.

52 queries 0.553