Definition of Seneca in English:



  • 1A member of an Iroquoian people originally inhabiting upstate New York, one of the five nations comprising the original Iroquois confederacy.

    • ‘Cusick's text implicitly adopts or could be used to support the anti-removal position of the Seneca and other Iroquois nations.’
    • ‘French sources do mention Ohioan Senecas, but the company consisted mainly of Indians long allied with France.’
    • ‘The case dragged on, and only in 1857 did Congress appropriate funds for the Seneca to buy back their land from Ogden.’
    • ‘Tales of the Lakota, the Cherokee, the Inuit and the Seneca, all laid out right at the foot of the Capitol.’
    • ‘Tribal affiliation did not affect clan membership; for example, all Wolf clan members were considered to be blood relatives, regardless of whether they were members of the Mohawk, Seneca, or other Iroquois tribes.’
  • 2mass noun The Iroquoian language of the Seneca, now with few speakers.

    • ‘The Cherokee language belongs to the Iroquoian family of languages and is therefore related to Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Tuscarora, among others.’
    • ‘Father also spoke Seneca and Cayuga, but he preferred Onondaga, the language of his father and of our longhouse.’
    • ‘Mrs Asher Wright, who spoke Seneca perfectly, and who labored as a missionary among them for fifty years, recorded two Seneca myths as they had been related to her by Esquire Johnson, an old Seneca chief.’


  • Relating to the Seneca or their language.

    • ‘While the relationship has been strained at times, the treaty remains unbroken and in effect and was used as recently as 1995 by a federal judge to uphold the sovereignty of the Seneca nation.’
    • ‘The Oneida language belongs to the Iroquoian language family, which also includes the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca tongues.’
    • ‘A respected Seneca warrior named Gaiantwaka, known as The Cornplanter, helped bring about this change, as did his half brother, Ganiodayo.’
    • ‘During the latter conflict, the Seneca supported the British and in 1779, a punitive expedition under Colonel Brodhead was dispatched to the Seneca villages on the upper Allegheny River.’
    • ‘The treaty established the sovereign relationship between the federal government and the Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations.’


Via Dutch from Algonquian.