Definition of Mohawk in US English:



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

    • ‘This includes the Canadian native Indians such as the Mohawks and the Inuit, the original inhabitants of the land who were displaced, dispossessed and marginalised.’
    • ‘The Mohawks in New York also contributed to the defeat of the insurgents by preventing outside assistance or escape.’
    • ‘What does this mean for native groups like the Cree and Mohawks of Canada and the US, whose ancestral lands (like the Yoeme and Pima in the South) are cut literally by the border?’
    • ‘A Mohawk and member of the Wolf Clan, he dances with the Young Spirit Dancers, a Native American company that tours the northeastern U.S. each year.’
    • ‘We have the Mohawk up in upstate New York, where their reservation is both part in Canada and part in the United States.’
    • ‘The war with the Pequot no sooner ended than the Narragansett were fighting the Mohawk.’
  • 2The Iroquoian language of the Mohawk.

    • ‘While only 15% speak Mohawk, this number is growing with aggressive language maintenance programs.’
    • ‘The Cherokee language belongs to the Iroquoian family of languages and is therefore related to Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Tuscarora, among others.’
    • ‘An Iroquoian language, Oneida is most closely related to Mohawk.’
    • ‘He was lucky to spend some of his years with his grandmother, who spoke only Mohawk…’
    • ‘He compares English with the language that is perhaps most different - Mohawk, spoken by a few thousand Native Americans in Quebec, Ontario and New York.’
    • ‘Italian and Greek are prominent immigrant languages, and Cree and Mohawk are prominent indigenous languages.’
  • 3North American A hairstyle in which the head is shaved except for a strip of hair running centrally from the middle of the forehead to the back of the neck.

    • ‘She ran back to the chief and as Kris held him down she cut his hair into a mini Mohawk.’
    • ‘He says he used to spend 25 minutes a day straightening his kinky hair into a Mohawk before deciding one day that maybe punk means not caring about what you look like.’
    • ‘From the opposite side of the room, a man stumbled through the hallway, his inky black hair cut into something along the lines of a Mohawk.’
    • ‘We go out past the town along the riverside, through pine forest and scrub, and get as far as a beach, where a large man with a Mohawk is standing waist-deep in the water smoking a cigarette.’
    • ‘You can give him the latest ‘gear’, or get him a new haircut, maybe a Mohawk or Afro.’
    • ‘His hair was slightly longer and spiked up in the middle, like a little Mohawk.’
    • ‘You could style your hair to stand straight up like you're scared or use a wig to wear a Mohawk or huge fuzzy hair.’
    • ‘Teenage girls mostly, but also a few boys were walking about with their heads and faces painted gray, hair cut Mohawk or bald, makeup around their eyes to make them seem large.’
    • ‘Then there was ‘guess the hairstyle’ as our maths teacher's hairdo momentarily resembled a Mohawk.’
    • ‘On a steamy summer day he's sporting the jersey of his beloved football team, beat-up jeans and dreadlocks styled in a Mohawk gone awry.’
    • ‘He could pass as a punk rocker then way he was dressed in black and leather; he had a black spiked Mohawk and tattoos covering his arms and neck.’
    • ‘Her flaxen hair was styled into a sort of longish Mohawk that swept against her lower back.’
    • ‘In fact, the reporter gave metrosexuality a face, a figure and hair styles ranging from Mohawks to cornrows - all belonging to the most famous athlete in the world.’
    • ‘His bleached Mohawk stood out in stark contrast to his bronzed skin.’
    • ‘And as far as his hair - shaved off, cut into a Mohawk, long and wild and carefully done into plaits, he's always looked basically like a geek.’
    • ‘As he worked with the iron, he elevated each strand into the air like a diffused Mohawk.’
    • ‘His black hair raised in a Mohawk, and his blue eyes large and hollow, Jared entered the cemetery, carrying a small bunch of yellow daffodils.’
    • ‘A girl with a pink Mohawk was standing languidly behind the tiny counter.’
    • ‘His hair was a spiked Mohawk and he was wearing the same choker as Ray.’
  • 4Skating
    A step from either edge of the skate to the same edge on the other foot in the opposite direction.

    • ‘A reverse Mohawk is the opposite of a Mohawk.’


  • Relating to the Mohawk or their language.

    • ‘It was also her evidence that these schools have a large percentage of Mohawk children (both from the reserve and off) and offer Mohawk language and a Mohawk curriculum.’
    • ‘He writes poetry in both English and Mohawk and is working to devise an improved written form for the Mohawk language.’
    • ‘He was a fifth-generation Mohawk River settler, with one ancestor a Mohawk Indian.’
    • ‘The smokes are made by Mohawks, on Mohawk territory, are not smuggled, are tax-exempt.’
    • ‘This description was appropriate for a man who made his fortune trading with the native Indians in the Mohawk valley and the nations of the Iroquois confederacy.’


Narragansett mohowawog, ‘man-eaters’.