noun \ə-ˈpa-chē, in sense 3 ə-ˈpash\

: a member of a Native American people of the southwestern U.S.

plural Apache or Apach·es\-ˈpa-chēz; -ˈpash, -ˈpa-shəz\

Full Definition of APACHE

:  a member of a group of American Indian peoples of the southwestern United States
:  any of the Athabascan languages of the Apache people
not capitalized [French, from Apache Apache Indian]
a :  a member of a gang of criminals especially in Paris
b :  ruffian
Apach·e·an \ə-ˈpa-chē-ən\ adjective or noun

Origin of APACHE

American Spanish, perhaps from Zuni ʔa·paču Navajo, Apachean
First Known Use: 1703


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

North American Indians of the southwestern U.S. Their name comes from a Zuñi word meaning “enemy.” Most Apache live on five reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Culturally, the Apache are divided into Eastern Apache, which include the Mescalero, Jicarilla, Chiricahua, and Lipan, and Western Apache, which include the Cibecue. The Eastern Apache were predominantly hunting and gathering societies, while their Western counterparts relied more on farming. Their ancestors had come down from the north, as is evident from their languages; Apachean languages are distantly related to other Athabaskan languages spoken in Canada. They settled the Plains, but, with the introduction of the horse, they were pressed south and west by the Comanche and Ute. They attempted to befriend the Spanish, the Mexicans, and later the Americans. Beginning in 1861, however, they engaged in a quarter-century confrontation against U.S. military forces. The Apache wars were among the fiercest fought on the frontier. The last ended in 1886 with the surrender of Geronimo. The Chiricahua Apache were evacuated from the West and held successively in Florida, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Apache descendants numbered some 100,000 in the early 21st century. See also Cochise.


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