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[mak-uh-naw] /ˈmæk əˌnɔ/
a short double-breasted coat of a thick woolen material, commonly plaid.
Also called Mackinaw coat, mackinaw coat.
Origin of mackinaw
1755-65; spelling variant of Mackinac
Related forms
mackinawed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mackinaw
Historical Examples
  • mackinaw is at the head of Lake Michigan—Chicago, at the foot.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • In silence he arose and slipped on his mackinaw blanket coat.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • At mackinaw concentrate all the radial lines of water navigation in the upper lakes.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • He was dressed in mackinaw, and wore a fur cap with drooping ear-flaps.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • Robinson's Folly is a high bluff, northeast from the village of mackinaw, half a mile from the mission house.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • mackinaw has more than the advantages of Cincinnati for manufactures.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • Firearms were introduced among the Omaha prior to 1819, when Dougherty says that they preferred those called "mackinaw guns."

  • At the Straits of mackinaw the whole system of land and water centres.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • As he threw off his mackinaw preparatory to starting work he snapped out the story of the situation at the quarry.

    The Snow-Burner Henry Oyen
  • Re-entering the Saut the steamer shapes her course for mackinaw.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
Word Origin and History for mackinaw


type of boat used on the Great Lakes, 1812, from Mackinac, name of a port and island in Michigan, from Ojibway (Algonquian) mitchimakinak "many turtles," from mishiin- "be many" + mikinaak "snapping turtle." As a type of heavy blanket given to the Indians by the U.S. government, it is attested from 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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