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a Parisian gangster, rowdy, or ruffian.
a member of an Athabaskan people of the southwestern U.S.
any of the several Athabaskan languages of Arizona and the Rio Grande basin.
Military. a two-man U.S. Army helicopter designed to attack enemy armor with rockets or a 30mm gun and equipped for use in bad weather and in darkness.
Contemporary Examples

Earlier this year, army apaches shot up several convoys that refused to stop while navigating mountainous dunes near the border.
On the Contraband Trail With Libya’s Gun Smugglers Peter Schwartzstein June 15, 2014

But the apaches are short range and need maintenance troops to deploy with them into a location within Iraq itself.
Air Force Pilots Say They’re Flying Blind Against ISIS Dave Majumdar October 9, 2014

One pilot friend in Zwara pointed out that just “two apaches,” attack helicopters, would intimidate the militias into a ceasefire.
It’s Not the USA that Made Libya the Disaster it is Today Ann Marlowe August 2, 2014

Not long after the Spanish conquistadores explored the region for gold, they began snatching apaches and other natives as slaves.
The Bin Laden of His Day? A New Biography of Geronimo Marc Wortman December 4, 2012

Roughly half of these, 56, were Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks, and AH-64 apaches, the workhorses of the American military.
The Taliban’s Bait Game John Barry August 11, 2011

Historical Examples

At the same time, just because he was so near it, he ran almost no risk at all of meeting any strong force of apaches.
The Talking Leaves William O. Stoddard

By the time he had gained the shelter a dozen apaches were firing at him.
When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt

One of the apaches started a fire, and the others lent their assistance.
The Cave in the Mountain Lieut. R. H. Jayne

A settler had lost a cow and he had accused the apaches of stealing the animal.
When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt

It seemed that there was a party of Kiowas in hiding, and awaiting the chance to open fire upon the approaching apaches.
In the Pecos Country Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne)

a Parisian gangster or ruffian
(pl) Apaches, Apache. a member of a North American Indian people, formerly nomadic and warlike, inhabiting the southwestern US and N Mexico
the language of this people, belonging to the Athapascan group of the Na-Dene phylum

1745, from American Spanish (1598), probably from Yavapai (a Yuman language) ‘epache “people.” Sometimes derived from Zuni apachu “enemy” (cf. F.W. Hodge, “American Indians,” 1907), but this seems to have been the Zuni name for the Navajo.

French journalistic sense of “Parisian gangster or thug” first attested 1902. Apache dance was the World War I-era equivalent of 1990s’ brutal “slam dancing.” Fenimore Cooper’s Indian novels were enormously popular in Europe throughout the 19c., and comparisons of Cooper’s fictional Indian ways in the wilderness and underworld life in European cities go back to Dumas’ “Les Mohicans de Paris” (1854-1859). It is probably due to the imitations of Cooper (amounting almost to plagiarisms) by German author Karl May (1842-1912) that Apaches replaced Mohicans in popular imagination. Also cf. Mohawk.
Apaches [(uh-pach-eez)]

A tribe of Native Americans who live in the southwestern United States. Geronimo was an Apache.
acute physiology and chronic health evaluation


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