|—n , -mos, -mo|
|1.||a member of a group of peoples inhabiting N Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and E Siberia, having a material culture adapted to an extremely cold climate|
|2.||the language of these peoples|
|3.||a family of languages that includes Eskimo and Aleut|
|4.||relating to, denoting, or characteristic of the Eskimos|
|usage Eskimo is considered by many to be offensive, and in North America the term Inuit is usually preferred. Inuit, however, can be accurately applied only to those Aboriginal peoples inhabiting parts of Northern Canada, Alaska, and Greenland (as distinguished from those in Asia or the Aleutian Islands)|
A widely dispersed group of peoples in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia, who have traditionally survived primarily by hunting and fishing. Despite the isolation of Eskimo communities, the Eskimos display a strong cultural, racial, and linguistic unity. Many Eskimos, especially those in Canada, prefer the name Inuit.
Note: Most people picture isolated Eskimos living in igloos and driving dogsleds; however, contact with outsiders has resulted in adoption of permanent housing settlements, snowmobiles and motorboats, and modern hunting equipment.
Note: Christianity has replaced many traditional religious beliefs. Efforts by federal governments to incorporate Eskimo societies have included establishment of schools in Eskimo communities and opportunities to participate in the larger government and economy.