Sa·​mi ˈsä-mē How to pronounce Sami (audio)
variants or less commonly Saami
plural Sami or Samis also Saami or Saamis
: a member of a people of northern Scandinavia, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of northern Russia who are traditionally fishermen, nomadic herders of caribou, and hunters of sea mammals
: any or all of the closely related Finno-Ugric languages of the Sami people

Word History


of Sami origin; akin to North Sami sápmi, genitive sámi the Sami homeland, language, or way of life

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Sami was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near Sami

Cite this Entry

“Sami.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on Sami

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