potlatch

[pot-lach]
noun
1.
(among American Indians of the northern Pacific coast, especially the Kwakiutl) a ceremonial festival at which gifts are bestowed on the guests and property is destroyed by its owner in a show of wealth that the guests later attempt to surpass.
2.
Pacific Northwest. a party or celebration.

Origin:
1835–45; < Chinook Jargon pátlač, páλač < Nootka p̉aλp̉a- (reduplication of p̉a- make ceremonial gifts in potlatch) + suffix marking iterative aspect

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To potlatch
Collins
World English Dictionary
potlatch (ˈpɒtˌlætʃ)
 
n
1.  anthropol a competitive ceremonial activity among certain North American Indians, esp the Kwakiutl, involving a lavish distribution of gifts and the destruction of property to emphasize the wealth and status of the chief or clan
2.  informal (US), (Canadian) a wild party or revel
 
[C19: from Chinook, from Nootka patshatl a giving, present]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

potlatch
1845, from Chinook jargon, "a gift," from Wakashan (Nootka) patshatl "giving, gift."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The dedication and raising of a totem pole is accompanied by a great potlatch, a public feast often involving lavish gift giving.
Now here comes everybody, and they're bringing their own dialects to the online potlatch.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;