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[sam-uh-yed, suh-moi-id] /ˌsæm əˈyɛd, səˈmɔɪ ɪd/
a member of a Uralic people dwelling in W Siberia and the far NE parts of European Russia.
Also, Samoyedic. a subfamily of Uralic languages spoken by the Samoyed people.
(sometimes lowercase) one of a Russian breed of medium-sized dogs that have long, dense, white or cream hair and are used by the Samoyed people for herding reindeer and pulling sleds.
Origin of Samoyed
1580-90; < Russian samoyéd Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for Samoyed


(pl) -yed, -yeds. a member of a group of peoples who migrated along the Russian Arctic coast and now live chiefly in the area of the N Urals: related to the Finns
the languages of these peoples, related to Finno-Ugric within the Uralic family
(səˈmɔɪɛd). a Siberian breed of dog of the spitz type, having a dense white or cream coat with a distinct ruff, and a tightly curled tail
Derived Forms
Samoyedic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Russian Samoed
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 Samoyed

Siberian Mongolian people, 1580s, from Russian samoyed (11c.), traditionally literally "self-eaters," i.e. "cannibals" (the first element cognate with same, the second with eat), but this might be Russian folk etymology of a native name:

The common Russian etymology of the name Samoyed, meaning "self-eater," deepened the Russians' already exotic image of far-northerners. The most probable linguistic origin of Samoyed, however, is from the Saami -- saam-edne, "land of the people" [Andrei V. Golovnev and Gail Osherenko, "Siberian Survival: The Nenets and Their Story," Cornell University, 1999]
Which would make the name a variant of Suomi "Finn." The native name is Nenets. As the name of a type of dog (once used as a working dog in the Arctic) it is attested from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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