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or pemican

[pem-i-kuh n] /ˈpɛm ɪ kən/
dried meat pounded into a powder and mixed with hot fat and dried fruits or berries, pressed into a loaf or into small cakes, originally prepared by North American Indians.
Origin of pemmican
1735-45; < Cree pimihka·n, derivative of pimihke·w he makes pemmican (mixing together the grease and other ingredients), he makes grease < Proto-Algonquian *pemihke·wa, equivalent to *pemy- grease + *-ehke· make Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pemmican
Historical Examples
  • pemmican, its principal component, is made of buffalo flesh, which fully equals (some think greatly excels) beef.

    The Young Fur Traders R.M. Ballantyne
  • I bent down the tree, and found the large piece of pemmican.

    By Canoe and Dog-Train Egerton Ryerson Young
  • Melting some snow, we drank the icy liquid as an eye-opener, and began our ration of a half-pound boulder of pemmican.

    My Attainment of the Pole Frederick A. Cook
  • pemmican was in plenty, and the redmen kept the hunting-grounds in peace.

    The Fiery Totem Argyll Saxby
  • Because of the need of fuel economy we now cut our pemmican with an axe.

    My Attainment of the Pole Frederick A. Cook
  • They picked up all the pemmican and biscuit that was still eatable.

  • In the pouches of the caribou coat was only pemmican; but my hand crushed against a softness in the inner waistcoat.

    Heralds of Empire Agnes C. Laut
  • Some remains of food were drawn out, and a case a quarter full of pemmican.

  • Then I gave the horse his last ration of oats, and I ate the last of the pemmican that the Ree scouts had given me.

    Old Indian Days [AKA Ohiyesa], Charles A. Eastman
  • pemmican was also made by drying the meat and pulverizing it.

British Dictionary definitions for pemmican


a small pressed cake of shredded dried meat, pounded into paste with fat and berries or dried fruits, used originally by American Indians and now chiefly for emergency rations
Word Origin
C19: from Cree pimikân, from pimii fat, grease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pemmican

1791, from Cree (Algonquian) /pimihka:n/ from /pimihke:w/ "he makes grease," from pimiy "grease, fat." Lean meat, dried, pounded and mixed with congealed fat and ground berries and formed into cakes used on long journeys. Also used figuratively for "extremely condensed thought or matter."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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