noun, plural Cher·o·kees, (especially collectively) Cher·o·kee for 1.
- a member of an important tribe of North American Indians whose first known center was in the southern Alleghenies and who presently live in North Carolina and Oklahoma.
- the Iroquoian language of the Cherokee, written since 1822 in a syllabic script invented for the language by Sequoya.
- plural -kees or -kee a member of a Native American people formerly living in and around the Appalachian Mountains, now chiefly in Oklahoma; one of the Iroquois peoples
- the language of this people, belonging to the Iroquoian family
1670s, from Cherokee Tsaragi.
A Native American tribe who lived in the Southeast in the early nineteenth century; the Cherokees were known as one of the “civilized tribes” because they built schools and published a newspaper. In the 1830s, the United States government forcibly removed most of the tribe to reservations west of the Mississippi River. (See Trail of Tears.)