Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (kā-yo͞o′gə, kī-)
n. pl. Cayuga or Ca·yu·gas
1. A member of a Native American people formerly inhabiting the shores of Cayuga Lake in west-central New York, with present-day populations in Ontario, western New York, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. The Cayuga are one of the five original tribes of the Iroquois confederacy.
2. The Iroquoian language spoken by the Cayuga.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
In 1779 an expedition was sent against the hostile Indians, who dwelt about a hundred miles west of Otsego, on the banks of the Cayuga. The whole country was then a wilderness, and it was necessary to transport the bag gage of the troops by means of the rivers—a devious but practicable route.
In this group, Sidney Harring's "Red Lilac of the Cayugas" and Linda Jencson's "In Whose Image?" stand out for their originality.
The Cayugas moved to Canada, Wisconsin, and Ohio; the Mohawks to Canada: the Oneidas now live on a small reservation in New York, although some field to Canada, some to the West; some of the Onondagas removed to Canada and others to the West, but most of them remained in New York; and the Senecas now reside on three small reservations in New York.
About 1570 the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca Indians formed a confederacy to abolish war among themselves--but not to prevent them from making war on others.
(31) By September 1753, during the great Council of the Six Nations held at Onondaga, the Cayugas resolved to a "'strengthening [of] their castle' by taking in the Tedarighroones." (32) Shortly thereafter, the Tuteloes are thought to have relocated near to their sponsors at the south end of Cayuga Lake in New York at present-day Ithaca.
In keeping with the dictates and constitution of the Hodenosaunee, the Cayugas as their political sponsors, promised the Tuteloes the preservation of their native customs and freedom of religion.
While the Tuteloes appear to have accepted the site from the Cayugas following their 1753 adoption into the League, the first record at the village is not given until much later.
In its original formation, the Great League was composed of five nations, including three as elder brothers, the Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas, and two, the Oneidas and Cayugas, as younger brothers.
Clark Caswell's classic is about the life and labors of Asher and Laura Wright, two extraordinary missionaries among the Seneca and Cayuga Indians.
Despite her ethnocentric missionary bias and use of words viewed objectionable today (e.g., "pagan"), Caswell's work provides valuable information about Seneca and Cayuga life in the post-Handsome Lake era of the nineteenth century.
Although this new edition is most welcomed by this reviewer, the book would have been even more valuable if it had been annotated with biographical notes about the specific Seneca and Cayuga Indians mentioned and added background material to explain what was being described in the text about Iroquoian ceremonies.
George-Kanentiio also includes a chapter on Native American creation beliefs, one chapter condemning Ray Halbritter and the Oneida Men's Council of the Oneida Nation of New York, and one on the Cayuga Indian land claims.