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sachem

[sey-chuh m] /ˈseɪ tʃəm/
noun
1.
  1. the chief of a tribe.
  2. the chief of a confederation.
2.
a member of the governing body of the League of the Iroquois.
3.
one of the high officials in the Tammany Society.
4.
Slang. a political party leader.
Origin
southeastern New England Algonquian
1615-1625
1615-25, Americanism; < southeastern New England Algonquian (compare Narragansett (E spelling) sâchim, saunchum, Massachusett sontim) < Proto-Algonquian *sa˙kima˙wa; cf. sagamore
Related forms
sachemdom, noun
sachemic
[sey-chem-ik, sey-chuh-mik] /seɪˈtʃɛm ɪk, ˈseɪ tʃə mɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
sachemship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sac-hem

sachem

/ˈseɪtʃəm/
noun
1.
(US) a leader of a political party or organization, esp of Tammany Hall
2.
another name for sagamore
Derived Forms
sachemic (seɪˈtʃɛmɪk; ˈseɪtʃə-) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Narraganset sǎchim chief
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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Word Origin and History for sac-hem

sachem

n.

chief of an American Indian tribe, 1620s, from Narragansett (Algonquian) sachim "chief, ruler," cognate with Abenaki sangman, Delaware sakima, Micmac sakumow, Penobscot sagumo. Applied jocularly to a prominent member of any society from 1680s; specific political use in U.S. is from 1890, from its use as the title of the 12 high officials of the Tammany Society of New York.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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