sa·​chem | \ ˈsā-chəm How to pronounce sachem (audio) , ˈsa- How to pronounce sachem (audio) \

Definition of sachem

1 : a North American Indian chief especially : the chief of a confederation of the Algonquian tribes of the North Atlantic coast
2 : a Tammany leader

Other Words from sachem

sachemic \ sā-​ˈche-​mik How to pronounce sachem (audio) , sa-​ \ adjective

Examples of sachem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This relationship was based on a treaty of mutual protection, signed on March 22, 1621, by Gov. John Carver and the sachem Ousamequin, better known as Massasoit. WSJ, 29 Nov. 2021 Some scholars counter that Mason’s statue should remain — with the addition of statues of Indigenous leaders, such as the Mohegan sachem Uncas and the Pequot Sachem Sassacus. Rick Green,, 17 Nov. 2021 The Pokanoket tribe and their sachem Massasoit shared in three days of feasting and entertainment with English colonists in the autumn of 1621, helping to inspire the holiday of gathering and giving thanks, according to the museum. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 15 July 2021 Staten Island’s last unbought parcel was sold, in 1670, by a Raritan sachem named Pierwim. Joshua Jelly-schapiro, The New Yorker, 13 Apr. 2021 The building was set to open as the Shawmut Center, with arena seats stamped with the bank’s classic logo of sachem Obbatinewat, a native North American. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 9 Jan. 2021 To fund political activities, the sachem collected tribute from the people in the form of crops, furs, game, and labor. National Geographic, 19 Nov. 2020 After losing about half their people during the harsh winter months, the colonists in 1621 finally received a visit from Samoset, a visiting Abenaki sachem, or leader, who happened to speak English. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, 25 Nov. 2020 In the summer of 1621, a dissident Wampanoag sachem named Corbitant, backed by other leaders from Cape Cod and the islands, threatened Ousamequin’s life and briefly took Tisquantum captive. National Geographic, 19 Nov. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sachem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sachem

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sachem

Narragansett sâchim

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Cite this Entry

“Sachem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sachem


sa·​chem | \ ˈsā-chəm How to pronounce sachem (audio) \

Kids Definition of sachem

: a chief of a tribe of indigenous people of North America and especially one of the Algonquian tribes


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