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n. pl. Cherokee or Cher·o·kees
1. A member of a Native American people formerly inhabiting the southern Appalachian Mountains from the western Carolinas and eastern Tennessee to northern Georgia, with present-day populations in northeast Oklahoma and western North Carolina. The Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory in the 1830s after conflict with American settlers over rights to traditional lands.
2. The Iroquoian language of the Cherokee.
[From Cherokee tsalaki.]
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.