variants or less commonly Rez or res
plural rezzes
: a tract of land set aside for Indigenous people of the United States and Canada : reservation, reserve
Our grandparents and great-grandparents worked to keep our land and our rights. … If Chief Migizi or Shabashkung or whoever had called it quits and moved to White Earth we wouldn't even have a rez.David Treuer
On weekends or holidays, we all went to our respective parents' rezzes to visit our grandparents and extended families.Elaine Bomberry
We follow the sounds of people singing forty-niner songs, funny songs about rez life set to drumming.Angeline Boulley
usually used with the
Although River identifies as indigenous, she has been raised in a non-indigenous community. … She is unsure of what life on the rez will be …Patricia Jermey
Life on the res, always hard, was made even worse by the Allotment, or Dawes, Act of 1887, which mandated that collective lands be divided into private lots.Christian Parenti
The last glimmers of day covered the rez roads, but the trees shrouded the path in darkness, a tunnel of never-ending night.Morgan Talty
: the people living on a rez
usually used with the
[Nicco] Montaño grew up in eastern Arizona with her mother, who is Navajo. Many of her Native American friends and supporters were in Las Vegas to support her Friday night. "I think the whole rez is here," she said.Rick Wright

Examples of rez in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Still, the new season reminds us that our rez dogs — and the ones that came before, and the ones that will come after — are always together in spirit. Kristen Baldwin,, 31 July 2023 Jacob knows no one, having matriculated at the rez school, and this is Edward’s seventh time going there. Vulture, 22 Dec. 2023 His mission is reflected in the special attention the show pays to rez elders, many of them played by celebrated Indigenous character actors. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 6 Oct. 2023 So it’s taken nearly a third of the way into this final season to have everyone together back on the rez, getting up to mischief. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 16 Aug. 2023 Natives & Chicanos from the streets and from the rez are who Spanto represented and advocated for. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 11 July 2023 The cinematography captures the isolation of rez life as well as all the natural light. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 11 Mar. 2023 This could be super useful for Mercy players who has a teammate begging for a rez or a Baptiste who’s waiting for Immortality Field to come back up. Kris Holt, Forbes, 6 Feb. 2023 Suicide is something that’s plagued my own rez and crept far too close to my family. Devery Jacobs, Time, 14 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rez.' 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 reservation

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rez was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near rez

Cite this Entry

“Rez.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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