Iroquois people of upper N.Y. state (they later moved in part to Wisconsin), 1660s, named for their principal settlement, the name of which is from Oneida onenyote', literally "erected stone," containing -neny- "stone" and -ot- "to stand."
1610s, from Dutch Sennecas, collective name for the Iroquois tribes of what became upper New York, of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Mahican name for the Oneida or their village. Earlier sinnekens, senakees; the form of the English word probably was influenced by the name of the ancient Roman philosopher. The name sometimes was used by Americans for all the Iroquois.
"communistic group marriage," in which every man in the group is regarded as equally the husband of every woman in it and vice versa; especially as practiced at in mid-19c. Perfectionist communes such as that of Oneida, New York; 1852, from Greek pantos "all" (see pan-) + -gamy "marriage." A malformation, it would properly be *pantogamy; as pant- was the short form of the Greek word before a vowel, and Greek agamy was "celibacy," the modern word would literally mean "celibacy of all."