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Massachusett

[mas-uh-choo-sit] /ˌmæs əˈtʃu sɪt/
noun, plural Massachusetts (especially collectively) Massachusett for 1.
1.
a member of an extinct tribe of North American Indians of eastern Massachusetts.
2.
the extinct Algonquian language of the Massachusett and Wampanoag Indians.
Also, Massachuset, Massachusetts.
Origin
1610-1620
1610-20, Americanism; the Massachusett name of Great Blue Hill south of Boston, literally, at the big hill
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for massachuset

Massachuset

/ˌmæsəˈtʃuːsɪt/
noun
1.
(pl) -sets, -set, -setts. a member of a North American Indian people formerly living around Massachusetts Bay
2.
the language of this people, belonging to the Algonquian family
Word Origin
probably from Algonquian, literally: at the big hill
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for massachuset

Massachuset

North American Indian tribe that in the 17th century may have numbered 3,000 individuals living in more than 20 villages distributed along what is now the Massachusetts coast. Members of the Algonquian language family, the Massachuset cultivated corn (maize) and other vegetables, gathered wild plants, and hunted and fished. The people moved seasonally between fixed sites to exploit different wild food resources as they became available. The tribe was divided into bands, each ruled by a chief, or sachem. Even before colonial settlement began in the immediate area, the Massachuset population had been greatly reduced by warfare with their northeastern neighbours, the Tarratine. The tribe was decimated by a pestilence in 1617; a smallpox epidemic in 1633 wiped out most remaining members of the tribe, including the chief. Christian missionaries, notably John Eliot, gathered converts from the Massachuset and other tribes into new villages in which distinct tribal identities often merged. The state of Massachusetts is named for this tribe

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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