Definition of tepee in English:


(also teepee, tipi)


  • A portable conical tent made of skins, cloth, or canvas on a frame of poles, used by North American Indians of the Plains and Great Lakes regions.

    • ‘It also involves sleeping out under canvas or tepees during the summer months and in shared rooms in the farmhouse in the autumn and winter.’
    • ‘There are tents and teepees and refreshment stalls around the main gates and the main camp in Bluebell Wood.’
    • ‘From a long way off they could see ‘the wide plain, a small lake, tepee upon tepee, hundreds of them, all in a large circle’ and hear the beating of drums and the barking of countless dogs.’
    • ‘I ask if he would be so kind as to take me back to his tepee for a short powwow, and we walk down a sidewalk to a small patch of grass outside the rodeo arena.’
    • ‘One day, when I was in Grade Three, my school teacher decided to use me as an example of how aboriginal people no longer live in teepees or wigwams.’
    • ‘The Native American tipi was used mainly by nomadic Indians of the Great Plains.’
    • ‘Others have been camping out in tree-houses and tepees for four-and-a-half years, making this the longest-running protest site in Britain.’
    • ‘Some parks rent cabins, yurts, tepees, even covered wagons.’
    • ‘Plains Indians, in contrast, erected tentlike tepees, constructed out of poles wrapped with buffalo skins.’
    • ‘At the Lodgepole Gallery and Tipi Village, flanked by two brightly painted Blackfeet tepees and Spanish mustang horses, we lie in our tepee, smelling prairie sage on the ever-present breeze.’
    • ‘We saw tents and teepees and herds of buffalo on the way east and then we hit some rolling hills and in the distance we saw some mountains that only got higher the further north they went.’
    • ‘It is amusing to see blonde Germans peeking out from under feather headdresses and holding powwows by teepees.’
    • ‘To put the canvas on the tipi poles, the cover is laid out on the ground, the lifting pole is laid over the cover's middle and the cover is tied to the pole.’
    • ‘Many were genre scenes showing everyday Indian life featuring teepees and mounted warriors in traditional costume.’
    • ‘For the first decades of the nineteenth century, the Lakotas raised their tepees along the Missouri River and its tributaries as far west as the Black Hills.’
    • ‘The Plains People also developed a distinctive art style and decorated everything from teepees to moccasins with their designs.’
    • ‘About 19 pine poles, each averaging 18 feet in length, comprised the tipi's frame.’
    • ‘All day tepee poles, lodge skins, dried meat, cooking utensils, and other paraphernalia from the abandoned Sioux village were stacked in huge piles and set afire.’
    • ‘At the park today you can imagine Cheyenne teepees dotting the grass 200 years ago or lookouts hidden in the hills, despite the suburbs that now cover them.’
    • ‘Convinced that the American Indian tipi is the best structure ever conceived by humans, I began to collect information on them.’


Mid 18th century: from Sioux tīpī ‘dwelling’.