Definition of Araucanian in English:



  • 1A member of a group of South American peoples of Chile and adjacent parts of Argentina, including the Mapuche.

    • ‘There are still a few Mapuche reservations in Argentina, particularly on the shores of Lake Rucachoroi and Lake Quillén. However, most Mapuche Araucanians today continue to live in Chile.’
    • ‘The stubborn resistance of the Araucanians, who lent their name to the monkey puzzle tree and delighted in its piñons, left a strong Indian influence.’
    • ‘At the time of the first Spanish contact in 1536 the dominant Indian group, the Araucanians, were theoretically subject to the INCA empire, but in practice they retained considerable independence within the Inca realm.’
    • ‘Representing the sole exception in Latin America, the Araucanians successfully resisted Spanish attempts to conquer their territory for more than three centuries.’
    • ‘Last peace talks held between natives and non-natives at Villarrica, Chile, forced Araucanians onto reservation in southern Chile.’
    • ‘Farther north, the Araucanians roamed the grasslands in bands of one to two hundred families, living off the wild animals that abounded in the area.’
    • ‘They take their name from the language of the Araucanians, the Mapuche of Chile (the people of the land) - the only indigenous people not conquered by either the Spanish or the Incas before them who live in the southern part of Chile.’
  • 2mass noun The language of the Araucanians, constituting a distinct language family sometimes linked to Penutian.

    • ‘In the Andes, Aymara has about 800000 speakers, and in Chile, Araucanian has about 200000.’
    • ‘The vowel i is common in South America, occurring in Araucanian, Guaraní, Guaymí (Chibchan), the Panoan and Tucanoan families, and elsewhere.’
    • ‘Dual number is found in Eskimo and in the Athabascan, Siouan, Iroquoian, Muskogean, and Plateau Shoshoni groups in North America, and Araucanian and others in South America.’


  • Relating to the Araucanians or their language.

    See also Mapuche
    • ‘‘Poncho’ is a Spanish word originating in South America, adopted from the Araucanian word poncho or pontho in the 17th century.’
    • ‘It is particularly high in the native Araucanian population in Chile, where the proportion of affected pregnancies reaches nearly 28%.’
    • ‘In the initiation ceremonies of the Araucanian shamanesses, for example, initiates were brought into a sacred circle of healers by having their bodies rubbed with canelo leaves and massaged repeatedly over breasts, bellies, and heads.’
    • ‘On the other hand, Chileans are also proud of descending from the brave and indomitable Araucanian Indians.’
    • ‘A type of poetic singing in the Araucanian language includes the reciting of legends, special invocations and prayers, and stories associated with the forces of life and death.’


From Spanish Araucania, a region in Chile, + -an.