Definition of Algonquin in English:


(also Algonkin)


  • 1A member of an indigenous people living in Canada along the Ottawa River and its tributaries and westward to the north of Lake Superior.

    • ‘So I think it was a big step to recognize that a Mohawk is not a Cree, and that a Cree is not an Algonquin.’
    • ‘Soon, Montagnais, Algonquins, Hurons, and French, and how many more, would form a single people.’
    • ‘The Algonquins had named the territory he lived in Great Water, michi ganni.’
    • ‘His book reported that by 1640 two trade networks competed, one made up of the Algonquin, Huron, and French, and the other consisting of the Oneidas, Dutch, and English.’
    • ‘Montagnais, Algonkins and Hurons engaged in exchange involving goods, people, and ideas with both kinds of French.’
  • 2mass noun The dialect of Ojibwa spoken by the Algonquin.

    • ‘An eighth language of the same subgroup of the Algonquian family, Algonquin, is listed separately, apparently for historical rather than linguistic reasons.’
    • ‘And as we were often told, ‘Mohawk means cannibal, in Algonquin.’’
    • ‘In the west children prefer the national language, although some may speak Algonquin; most adults speak Algonquin.’
    • ‘The Algonquin/Algonkin are a nation living in southern Quebec and Ontario. They speak Algonquin/Algonkin.’
    • ‘In the east, Algonquin is the principal means of communication, and spoken by the majority of all ages. In the west, most adults speak Algonquin.’
    • ‘Everyone here came from somewhere else, unless your native language is Algonquin.’
    • ‘Algonquin is a musical language that has complicated verbs with many parts.’
    • ‘Malick hired a linguist to translate the script and to teach his native actors to speak Algonquin, a language extinct for the past 200 years.’
    • ‘I didn’t speak Algonquin to my children because I wanted them to learn good English so they’ll be able to help the reserve.’
    • ‘Although he is far better known for his novels, Norman continues to work as a translator from Algonquin and Cree.’


  • Relating to the Algonquin or their language.

    • ‘And that's in Cree, which comes from the Algonquin language.’
    • ‘According to Algonquin legend, Tremblant would receive a violent shaking from the god Manitou if man ever disturbed its natural setting.’
    • ‘Spoken Ojibwa or Ojibwemowin is an Algonquin language with regional dialectical differences.’
    • ‘Manitou, The Great Spirit, is an Algonquin term, often erroneously applied as spirit monster.’
    • ‘Illiniwek was the name of the loose confederation of Algonquin tribes that once lived in the area.’


The terms Algonquin and Algonquian do not mean the same thing. Algonquian refers to a large family of languages, of which Algonquin is a specific member. Algonquin is also the term used for the North American people speaking the Algonquin language


French, contraction of obsolete Algoumequin, from a Micmac word meaning ‘at the place of spearing fish and eels’.