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[soo] /su/
noun, plural Sioux
[soo, sooz] /su, suz/ (Show IPA)
Dakota (defs 4, 6).
Origin of Sioux
1755-65, Americanism; < North American French, shortening of earlier Nadouessioux < Ojibwa (Ottawa dial.) na·towe·ssiw(ak) plural (< Proto-Algonquian *na·towe·hsiw-, derivative of *na·towe·wa Iroquoian, probably literally, speaker of a foreign language) + French -x plural marker Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Sioux
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I got wind of some Sioux thet was trailin' some prairie-schooners up in the hills.

    The U.P. Trail Zane Grey
  • January 29, 1909, he died at his home in Sioux Falls after a brief illness.

  • The Sioux may be at both ends of this bend, for all we know.

    The Way of a Man Emerson Hough
  • But if she had thought it a Sioux and Comanche story, it would have been the same to her.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • It proved to be a band of Sioux, on the war path after Shoshones.

British Dictionary definitions for Sioux


(pl) Sioux (suː; suːz). a member of a group of North American Indian peoples formerly ranging over a wide area of the Plains from Lake Michigan to the Rocky Mountains
any of the Siouan languages
Word Origin
from French, shortened from Nadowessioux, from Chippewa Nadoweisiw
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 Sioux

group of North American Indian tribes, 1761, from North American French, short for Nadouessioux, sometimes said to be from Ojibway (Algonquian) Natowessiwak (plural), literally "little snakes," from nadowe "Iroquois" (literally "big snakes"). Another explanation traces it to early Ottawa (Algonquian) singular /na:towe:ssi/ (plural /na:towe:ssiwak/) "Sioux," apparently from a verb meaning "to speak a foreign language" [Bright]. In either case, a name given by their neighbors; the people's name for themselves is Dakota.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Sioux in Culture
Sioux [(sooh)]

A common name for the Dakota people, a tribe of Native Americans inhabiting the northern Great Plains in the nineteenth century. They were famed as warriors and frequently took up arms in the late nineteenth century to oppose the settlement of their hunting grounds and sacred places. In 1876, Sioux warriors, led by Chief Sitting Bull, and commanded in the field by Chief Crazy Horse, overwhelmed the United States cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. (See Custer's last stand.) A group of Sioux under Chief Big Foot were massacred by United States troops at Wounded Knee in 1890.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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