Athabascan

Athabaskan

[ath-uh-bas-kuhn]
noun
1.
a family of languages spoken by American Indians in most of inland northwest Canada and Alaska, in coastal Oregon and California, and in Arizona and the Rio Grande basin, and including especially Navajo, Apache, and Chipewyan. Compare family ( def 14 ).
2.
a member of any of various American Indian peoples speaking Athabaskan.
adjective
3.
belonging to or characteristic of the Athabaskans.
Also, Athabascan, Athapaskan, Athapascan.


Origin:
1770–80; earlier Athapasca(s), introduced as a term for the Canadian Athabaskans (< Woods Cree ahδapaska·w Lake Athabaska, literally, there are reeds here and there < Proto-Algonquian *aʔlap(y)- net, reticulated + *-ašk- plant + derivational elements) + -an

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World English Dictionary
Athapascan, Athapaskan, Athabascan or Athabaskan (ˌæθəˈpæskən, ˌæθəˈbæskən)
 
n
1.  a group of North American Indian languages belonging to the Na-Dene phylum, including Apache and Navaho
2.  a speaker of one of these languages
 
[from Cree athapaskaaw scattered grass or reeds]
 
Athapaskan, Athapaskan, Athabascan or Athabaskan
 
n
 
[from Cree athapaskaaw scattered grass or reeds]
 
Athabascan, Athapaskan, Athabascan or Athabaskan
 
n
 
[from Cree athapaskaaw scattered grass or reeds]
 
Athabaskan, Athapaskan, Athabascan or Athabaskan
 
n
 
[from Cree athapaskaaw scattered grass or reeds]

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Word Origin & History

Athabascan
"pertaining to a N.Amer. Indian people," 1846, Athapaskan, from Lake Athabaska in northern Alberta, Canada, from Woods Cree (Algonquian) Athapaskaw, said by Webster to mean lit. "grass or reeds here and there," refering to the delta region west of the lake. Also in ref. to their language group.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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