noun

  • 1A member of a North American people of New Mexico and Arizona.

    • ‘It appeared that Navajos and other American Indians made up over ninety percent of those attending.’
    • ‘The contemporary government of the Navajos is the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona.’
    • ‘Pueblo auxiliaries were often required to fight with Spanish troops against either Apaches, Navajos, Utes, or Comanches, depending upon Spanish Indian policies and alliances at any given time.’
    • ‘As with other American Indian languages and cultures, those of the Navajos have undergone and continue to undergo tremendous changes.’
    • ‘The breed was brought to this country 500 years ago by Spanish settlers, and Navajos have embraced and raised the breed since then.’
    • ‘Her father was Navajo; her mother's Caucasian.’
    • ‘There are also Indians from other tribes who have moved into Tahlequah: Creeks, Kiowas, Osages, and even Navajos.’
    • ‘But fewer and fewer Navajo can make that choice.’
    • ‘When Spaniards first encountered the Apaches and Navajos in the sixteenth century, they could not tell them apart and referred to the Navajo as Apaches de Navajo.’
    • ‘Carson was then an Indian agent helping the army subdue the Navajos and Apaches.’
    • ‘Hundreds of Navajo died during the 400-mile Long Walk and the ensuing four-year exile at Bosque Redondo.’
    • ‘The Navajos have a chant: ‘Remember what you have seen, because everything forgotten returns to the circling winds.’’
    • ‘As an Indian agent in New Mexico in the 1850s, Carson had to balance competing desires and needs of Anglos, Apaches, Hispanos, Navajos, Pueblos, and Utes.’
  • 2mass noun The Athabaskan language of the Navajo, with about 130,000 speakers.

    • ‘Pueblos nearest the Navajos were apt to know Navajo.’
    • ‘Many wore traditional Navajo outfits and a small amount spoke in Navajo amongst themselves.’
    • ‘Through observation, one of the authors has noted that men and boys tend to speak Navajo more than women and girls.’
    • ‘By second grade students receive half of their instruction in English and half in Navajo.’
    • ‘Although it is an unwritten language with no alphabet or symbols, Navajo is as far from a ‘primitive, not-fully-evolved’ language as one could imagine.’
    • ‘The other quarter is not likely to speak or understand Navajo at all.’
    • ‘Learning to read and write in Navajo is a painstaking process for all students.’
    • ‘It included a free copy of the Sunday Times, in Navajo.’
    • ‘She is an enrolled member and citizen of the Navajo Nation and is bilingual and biliterate in Navajo and English.’
    • ‘Schools in Rock Point teach all classes in the local language - Navajo.’
    • ‘Unlike most other native American languages, Navajo is still in widespread and active use.’
    • ‘Those who converse in Navajo include monolingual speakers who are mostly of the greatgrandparent generation.’
    • ‘The difficulties language learners face as they make the transition from English to Navajo and from Navajo to English are described in this paper.’
    • ‘Many students come to school proficient in neither Navajo nor English.’
    • ‘Kindergarten and first-grade students received total or almost total instruction in Navajo.’
    • ‘Navajo citizens are choosing to speak English rather than Navajo.’
    • ‘Their languages are no more similar to each other than English and Navajo.’
    • ‘In politics, however, Navajo remains the language of power.’
    • ‘He actually wrote a highschool-level textbook of Navajo linguistics aimed at helping speakers of Navajo to discover the structure of their language.’
    • ‘Typically, fifty percent of the students are dominant in Navajo, using their language in their social lives.’

adjective

  • Relating to the Navajo or their language.

    • ‘Roughly speaking, those over 40 are more likely to be fully fluent and proficient in the Navajo language.’
    • ‘A counselor and a Navajo medicine man conduct the sessions.’
    • ‘All of these factors are contributing to the shift from Navajo to English language use in Navajo communities.’
    • ‘This book is a great account of a school developed in a Navajo community to transmit cultural values and language to the next generation.’
    • ‘All of the Navajo immersion students improved in their Navajo language skills.’
    • ‘The language of Belin's poetry is a rich confluence of Navajo storytelling, urban realism, and intimate personal revelation.’
    • ‘On a daily basis, however, the Navajo language continues to be used inconsistently in schools and the workplace.’
    • ‘Funding for Navajo language immersion schools is now threatened.’
    • ‘Hogans are only part of his dream to preserve Navajo culture through language and traditions, but they offer tangible evidence of what a Navajo-inspired and operated enterprise can do.’
    • ‘Their different reasons for forming these collections comprise a rainbow of motives as complex as a Navajo sand painting.’
    • ‘Furthermore, a series of thirteen consonants not present in English must be processed for language learners to comprehend Navajo speech.’
    • ‘Experience a unique view of Navajo culture through the eyes of Navajo women.’
    • ‘From the Navajo view, a language must exist before speech can occur, as form precedes substance.’
    • ‘He shared his love of Navajo weaving, his collection of Navajo rugs and weaving tools.’
    • ‘The Pueblo and Navajo people use it in rituals when an infant first cries and smiles.’
    • ‘I grew up around Hopi and Navajo Indians all my life.’
    • ‘In the end, it was agreed that subject matter would be taught in the Navajo language for at least half a day.’
    • ‘For centuries, Navajo Indians have survived by living off the land.’
    • ‘Educators struggle to keep the Navajo language alive, and there is a severe shortage of singers to conduct traditional ceremonies.’
    • ‘This includes visits to ancient sites with an anthropologist, plus meetings with the Hopi and Navajo people.’

Origin

From Spanish Apaches de Navajó ‘Apaches from Navajo’, from Tewa navahu ‘fields adjoining an arroyo’.

Pronunciation

Navajo

/ˈnavəhəʊ/