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n. pl. Cree or Crees
1. A member of a Native American people inhabiting a large area from eastern Canada west to Alberta and the Great Slave Lake. Formerly located in central Canada, the Cree expanded westward and eastward in the 17th and 18th centuries, the western Cree adopting the Plains Indian life and the eastern Cree retaining their woodland culture.
2. The Algonquian language of the Cree.
[French Cris, shortening of Cristineaux, name of a 17th-century Cree band, from Ojibwa (Old Algonquin) kirištino·, from Cree.]
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.