- Word History, Word Explorer
|part of speech:
||any member of a formerly nomadic North American Indian tribe chiefly inhabiting the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
||any of several languages of these people.
The Apache Indians did not think of themselves as Apache
. Their word for themselves was Nde
, which means "people." Our word "Apache" comes from the Mexican Zuni Indian word for this tribe: apachu
, or "enemy." The Zuni also called the Navajo Indians apachu
. Borrowing the Zuni word, the Spanish used the word "Apache" to mean any North American Indian. From Spanish, the word entered American English in 1745 as the name for the Nde