Definition of Osage in English:



  • 1A member of an American Indian people formerly inhabiting the Osage River valley in Missouri.

    • ‘Recently, the authors asked an Osage, a descendent of a member of the Gthon’ I-ni-ka-sh-ga clan, about the rites and obligations of this high-status clan.’
    • ‘There are also Indians from other tribes who have moved into Tahlequah: Creeks, Kiowas, Osages, and even Navajos.’
    • ‘Above all, it would be the increasingly powerful Osages living to the west of the new city that determined the success of this enterprise.’
    • ‘Among the Osage, the clan member who took the captive usually kept the captive in his clan as a ‘sho-ka’ or clan messenger and helper.’
    • ‘Another wealthy tribe, the 16,000-strong Osage in Oklahoma, owns the rights to one of the richest oil and gas fields in the state.’
  • 2The Siouan language of the Osage.

    • ‘If you speak Osage, you can understand after a little while, Ponca.’
    • ‘Osage is a Siouan language of the Southern Plains. Only a handful of elders still speak the Osage language today, but some young people are trying to learn.’
    • ‘Currently, about twenty tribal members out of eighteen thousand can speak Osage fluently.’


  • Relating to the Osage or their language.

    • ‘The Osage adoption ceremonies traditionally use one or two calumet pipes, some with bells, said to represent the sound of thunder, and two tufts of owl feathers, said to represent deer lungs.’
    • ‘The name comes from the Osage Indians of that region, who, like other Native Americans, valued the tree for its wood.’
    • ‘The Osage Indians of Missouri made a bread called ‘stanic’ from the pulp of the persimmon and ground corn.’
    • ‘In this remark, we hear a surviving fragment of this very ‘thunder power,’ handed down from an Osage ancestor.’
    • ‘Turkey beards (likened to human scalps) were used for some of the vertical elements of traditional Osage hair roaches.’


Via French, from Osage wažaže, the name of one of the three groups that compose this people.