manitou

manitou

[man-i-too]
noun, plural manitous (especially collectively) manitou.
(among the Algonquian Indians) a supernatural being that controls nature; a spirit, deity, or object that possesses supernatural power.
Also, manito [man-i-toh] , manitu [man-i-too] .


Origin:
1605–15; < Unami Delaware monə́t·u, reinforced by or reborrowed from Ojibwa manito· and other cognates (all < Proto-Algonquian *maneto·wa); spelling influenced by equivalent French word

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World English Dictionary
manitou, manitu or manito (ˈmænɪˌtuː, ˈmænɪˌtəʊ)
 
n , pl -tous, -tus, -tos, -tou, -tu, -to
(among the Algonquian Indians) a deified spirit or force
 
[C17: from Algonquian; related to Ojibwa manito spirit]
 
manitu, manitu or manito
 
n
 
[C17: from Algonquian; related to Ojibwa manito spirit]
 
manito, manitu or manito
 
n
 
[C17: from Algonquian; related to Ojibwa manito spirit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

manitou
"spirit, supernatural being," 1690s, from Algonquin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

manitou

among Algonquian-speaking peoples of North America, the spiritual power inherent in the world generally. Manitous are also believed to be present in natural phenomena (animals, plants, geographic features, weather); they are personified as spirit-beings that interact with humans and each other and are led by the Great Manitou (Kitchi-Manitou). The word was frequently used by 19th-century and early 20th-century anthropologists in their theories of animism, a religious system characteristic of many indigenous peoples. See also Coyote and Raven cycle.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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