Definition of Abnaki in English:


(also Abenaki)


  • 1A member of an Algonquian people living chiefly in Maine and Quebec.

    • ‘On Harry Jones's land near Vale Perkins there's an ‘Indian rock,’ I read, where the Abenaki scratched the story of a raid on Fort Bridgeman in 1755.’
    • ‘Seen from the perspective of an observer troubled by the exploitation of the Abenakis and their land claims, one might easily and accurately describe this war as the result of unfair acquisitions by British settlers.’
    • ‘The reader may well sympathize with the general, especially when Anderson puts in a reminder about William Henry but says nothing about why British soldiers at Louisbourg are getting killed by Micmacs and Abenakis… and Acadians.’
    • ‘Also, the Abenakis and other Native American societies injected a volatile element in the economic and military relations between the competing empires.’
    • ‘Very likely the Abenakis paddled along the Merrimac River for a stretch of the expedition.’
    • ‘In King William's War in the 1690s, Church led expeditions against the Abenaki in Maine and the French in Acadia.’
    • ‘This once-great omen of the Abenaki is fast becoming a bad one, by demonstrating what we as a society ignorantly preserve and worship.’
    • ‘The Abenakis and their colleagues were not quite as deferential to the governor as he had hoped.’
    • ‘In the end it seemed that the death of Rale and the fatigue of the Abenakis led to the war's end.’
    • ‘In the east, the French supported the Abenakis, who fought against New England to preserve their land.’
  • 2mass noun Either or both of the two extinct Algonquian languages (Eastern Abnaki and Western Abnaki) of the Abnaki.

    • ‘They are part of the Algonquian language family that, in Quebec, includes the Montagnais-Naskapi, Micmac, Malecite, and Abenaki.’
    • ‘Penobscot (Eastern Abnaki, Penawahpskewi, Penobscott) Language: Abnaki is an Algonquian language spoken today by only a few elders in Canada.’
    • ‘The Penobscot dialect of Eastern Abnaki is extinct.’


  • Relating to the Abnaki or their language.

    • ‘Alanis Obomsawin was born on Abenaki territory in Lebanon, New Hampshire on August 31, 1932.’
    • ‘Each paddle stroke inches you further upstream towards the Abenaki encampment that should lie perhaps a league ahead.’
    • ‘Whoever attacks him, attacks all the Abnaki tribe.’
    • ‘Being of Abnaki background himself, Perkins wanted to immerse himself in the forest lore.’
    • ‘The name Eskimo was given to these people by neighboring Abnaki Indians and means ‘eaters of raw flesh.’’


From French Abénaqui, from Montagnais ouabanăkionek ‘people of the eastern land’.