a member of a Native American people many of whom live in the US states of Colorado and Utah Culture The Utes are farmers and make money from oil and gas on their lands. Their name means 'people of the mountains', and they were originally the same people as the southern Paiutes. The Utes became excellent fighters after they received Spanish horses in the early 19th century. They were placed on reservations in 1868. Word Originfrom Spanish Yuta; compare with Paiute.