Definition of Papago in English:



  • 1A member of an American Indian people of the south-western US and northern Mexico.

    • ‘The world first came knocking in the 17th century, with Spanish explorers who labeled them the Papago, roughly translated as ‘bean eaters.’’
    • ‘For the Navajo, Hopi, Papago and other Native Americans already living in the Southwest, the land was sacred.’
    • ‘Papagos make wooden carved figures, pottery pieces, and baskets. Their pottery is rustic, but however their best and most fine hand-crafted pieces are baskets; the ‘coritas’, made of palm leaves and torote (desert plants that women collect, prepare and weave).’
    • ‘Reconstructed traditional houses of the Apache, Maricopa, Papago, and Pima are on display at the Gila River Arts and Crafts Museum in Sacaton, Arizona, south of Phoenix.’
  • 2[mass noun] The Uto-Aztecan language of the Papago, a form of Pima with around 10,000 speakers.

    • ‘Informally, our proposal is that while English has only one form of plurality, Papago has two: one based on identity and the other on equivalence.’
    • ‘Tohono O'odham (formerly Papago) is spoken in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico.’


  • Relating to the Papago or their language.

    • ‘The lands of the Tohono O'Odham, or Papago, people are divided into two areas, each the approximate size of Connecticut, on both sides of the border.’
    • ‘Here, Jesuits sought to settle, or ‘reduce, ‘the seminomadic Pima and Papago people to an agropastoralist mode.’’
    • ‘I have spent some time on the Pima/Papago language of central Arizona. One advantage of these native languages is the vocabulary is fairly limited - terms for most modern things from the western world have been borrowed.’


Via Spanish from an American Indian word.