sachem


sachem

noun

  1. (among some North American Indians)
    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.

noun

  1. US a leader of a political party or organization, esp of Tammany Hall
  2. another name for sagamore

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.

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