Definition of Mandan in English:



  • 1A member of an American Indian people formerly living along the northern reaches of the Missouri River.

    • ‘Here, in 1805, the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark noted numerous village sites forsaken by the Mandans and Hidatsas ‘about 25 years' earlier.’
    • ‘Extended stays at Fort McKenzie and Fort Union and a five-month visit among the Mandans and Hidatsas afforded an unprecedented opportunity to document the people, traditions, and history of the upper Missouri region.’
    • ‘The most distinguishing feature of the Mandans was by far their warmth and friendliness.’
    • ‘More remarkable, many of the Mandans had light skin, fair hair, and ‘European’ features.’
    • ‘He was often assigned to small hunting groups, who would be charged with collecting meat to feed the Corps and to trade with the Mandans for other foodstuffs.’
    • ‘The Mandans are one of the most well-known agricultural tribes of the Missouri Valley region.’
    • ‘Lewis and Clark unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a peace treaty between the Mandans and the Arikara.’
    • ‘The Mandan were reduced from 1800 in June to 23 men, 40 women, and 60 to 70 young people by fall.’
    • ‘On the other side of the planet, the Mandans of North America developed similar rituals.’
    • ‘Due to the proposed trade between the Mandans and the Americans, they threatened military retaliation.’
    • ‘Unlike the Mandans, the Hidatsas regularly sent war parties against the Shoshones and Blackfeet.’
    • ‘The fort had a virtual open-door policy with the Mandans and Hidatsas the men neighbored with.’
    • ‘He met the Crows in June 1805 at the Knife River villages of the Mandans and Hidatsas on the upper Missouri.’
    • ‘Beyond them, at the mouth of the Knife River, were five earth-lodge villages of Mandans and Hidatsas.’
    • ‘The Mandan believe that this ceremonial homosexuality helps ensure the return of the buffalo in the coming season.’
    • ‘What will be fresh terrain are the perspectives on the Mandans, the Nez Perce, the Blackfeet, and others.’
    • ‘The Mandans were a relatively peaceful nation, whose traditional enemies included the Teton Sioux.’
    • ‘The Mandans lived in the plains area of North Dakota, particularly in the Big Bend region of the Missouri River.’
    • ‘The Arikaras and Tetons, in turn, wanted for themselves the trade goods intended for the Mandans and Hidatsas.’
    • ‘The Mandan are most widely known for their housing, referred to as earth lodges.’
  • 2[mass noun] The Siouan language of the Mandan, now virtually extinct.


  • Relating to the Mandan or their language.

    • ‘In one voice-over William Clark says that the temperature at the Mandan villages in December 1804 reached 45 degrees below zero.’
    • ‘The expedition spent the next winter amicably with the Mandan Indians.’
    • ‘On October 26, 1804, the Corps of Discovery arrived at the Mandan and Hidatsa villages, some 1,600 miles from Camp River Dubois.’
    • ‘His credibility was severely compromised when his story and his paintings of the ritual could not be corroborated because the Mandan population had been wiped out by smallpox in 1837.’
    • ‘In the center of a Mandan village was the center of political, social, and ceremonial activity.’
    • ‘A visitor's center was recently constructed on the site with design details inspired by a Mandan earth lodge.’
    • ‘Over the next two months the expedition constructed Fort Mandan, which they named in honor of the Mandan people.’
    • ‘The Mandan suspension ritual was used primarily as a rite of passage.’
    • ‘His invention of facts surrounding the smallpox epidemic among the Mandan Indians in 1837 is more reprehensible than his misrepresentation of the Dawes Act.’
    • ‘On August 14, 1806, the Corps of Discovery reached the Mandan villages.’
    • ‘Morris speculates that Field was killed in 1807 while accompanying Lewis and Clark alumni Nathamal Pryor, George Gibson, and George Shannon on a military expedition to return Mandan chief Sheheke to his home at the Knife River villages.’
    • ‘He invented a story about the US Army deliberately creating a smallpox epidemic among the Mandan people in 1837 by distributing infected blankets.’
    • ‘Everything from meat products to horses to musical instruments was exchanged for Mandan corn.’
    • ‘Described as ‘the central marketplace of the Northern Plains,’ the five Mandan and Hidatsa villages attracted many Europeans and Indians alike.’
    • ‘The entire two-month journey from the Mandan villages where the corps wintered was easy compared to the portage the men would undertake after finding the Great Falls of the Missouri on June 13, 1805.’
    • ‘Born at the Mandan villages in February 1805, Baptiste traveled to the Pacific and back, was baptized in 1809, attended St. Louis boarding schools, and traveled with a German nobleman to Europe, where he learned several languages.’
    • ‘Traders told of large Indian villages up the Missouri River, and in fact the Mandan village where the Lewis and Clark expedition first wintered was actually larger than the city of St. Louis then.’


From North American French Mandane, probably from Dakota Sioux mawátãna.