plural Ute or Utes : a member of an Indigenous people originally ranging through Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico

Note: Current-day members live as part of the federally recognized Ute Indian Tribe (Northern Ute) of the Uinta and Ouray Reservation of Northeastern Utah or the federally recognized Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado.

: the Uto-Aztecan language of the Ute people

Examples of Ute in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the roadblock is a quirk in the laws that settled its water rights, which prohibits the tribe from using the portion of its water held in Lake Nighthorse, a reservoir in Colorado, for agriculture. Mark Olalde, ProPublica, 5 July 2023 Acoma, Apache, Diné (Navajo), Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Pai, Ute, Yavapai and Zuni peoples will be represented, and the event will include traditional dances and music and talks from cultural experts, according to the museum. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 8 June 2023 The monument is located within the homelands of the Ute Indian Tribe, and at the heart of Colorado ski country. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 June 2023 Who were the Native people of Black Canyon of the Gunnison? Both the National Park Service and Colorado State Library note Ute Indians lived in the area, but not in Black Canyon itself. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 27 May 2023 The Navajo, Ute Mountain Indians and Southern Utes are all in close proximity of Farmington. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 15 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Ute.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


short for earlier Utah, Utaw, from American Spanish Yuta

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Ute was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near Ute

Cite this Entry

“Ute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ute. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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Last Updated: - Definition revised
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