Definition of Onondaga in English:



  • 1A member of an Iroquois people, one of the five comprising the original Iroquois confederacy, formerly inhabiting an area near Syracuse, New York.

    • ‘Kernaghan is struck by the Onondaga, arbitrators among the other nations and known as the ‘Keepers of the Fire.’’
    • ‘That means the Onondaga, the Tioga, the Oneida, the Mohawk, all of those we left up in that Great Lakes region as well as in upstate New York.’
    • ‘The Onondaga are traditionalists; we don't deal with the BIA except on a government-to-government basis.’
    • ‘The Mohawk and Oneida are quite similar, as are the Cayuga and Seneca; the Onondaga and Tuscarora are each different from the five others.’
    • ‘Chief Oren Lyons is a faithkeeper of the Onondaga, one of those tribes, and a member of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.’
    • ‘Then Olbrechts spent three months in 1928 among the Tuscarora, and in 1929 he was for a brief time with the Onondaga.’
    • ‘In one pending claim, the Onondagas claim they own a large tract of land on which sits, among many other things, the city of Syracuse.’
    • ‘Hofstra begins by recalling a violent skirmish in 1742 on the Virginia frontier between white settlers and a group of Oneidas and Onondagas traveling from their homelands in New York to the Carolinas.’
    • ‘The Mohawk lived furthest east, the Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca lived between the great lakes and the finger lakes of New York and at one point in history their ‘reign’ stretched further east and even to the south.’
  • 2[mass noun] The extinct Iroquoian language of the Onondaga.

    • ‘The Cherokee language belongs to the Iroquoian family of languages and is therefore related to Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Tuscarora, among others.’


  • Relating to the Onondaga or their language.

    • ‘When I learned that my great-grandmother was an Onondaga Indian, I studied everything I could about the Iroquois.’
    • ‘The treaty established the sovereign relationship between the federal government and the Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations.’
    • ‘In the months that followed, the disease also appeared further west, striking the Onondaga Iroquois and Indians at Michilimackinac who had assisted in expelling the Americans from Canada.’
    • ‘Initially comprised of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk nations of present-day New York state, its architectural metaphor was the multifamily longhouse they all used.’
    • ‘A delegation of 40 Onondaga envoys arrived to negotiate a cease-fire and were seized and sent back to France as slaves.’
    • ‘Shenandoah, whose father was an Onondaga tribal leader and jazz guitarist, has performed in Europe as well as North America, including the 1991 American Music Festival in San Francisco.’
    • ‘The Oneida language belongs to the Iroquoian language family, which also includes the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca tongues.’
    • ‘The next speaker, Audrey Shenandoah, is a Clan Mother of the Eel Clan, Onondaga Nation.’
    • ‘By 1696 Antonio Crisafi was in charge of the Onondaga fort, located in what is now New York State.’
    • ‘The Tuscarora slowly emigrated into Iroquois territory and settled amongst the Oneida (and on Onondaga margins).’
    • ‘Wendy Gonyea, who works in the Onondaga communication office in Nedrow, N.Y. said she wrote Gover the day after the apology.’
    • ‘Cara E. Richards of Cornell University conducted an acculturation study focusing on the Onondaga tribe during the 1950s and early 1960s.’


From the Iroquoian name of their main settlement, literally on the hill.