Definition of Chumash in English:



  • 1A member of a North American people inhabiting coastal parts of southern California.

    • ‘For their native inhabitants, the Chumash, the islands represent loss: Centuries of island life ended in the early 1800s when Mission priests relocated the Chumash to the mainland.’
    • ‘The local Indians, the Chumash, had a legend of something that translates roughly to ‘mouth of hell’ - a place where demons emerge from the netherworld and walk the earth.’
    • ‘They fought a lot too, with each other and with their neighbors, the Chumash, who lived north of Topa-nga, and the Ajachmen to the south.’
    • ‘First known inhabitants of this sunshine state were Chumash people who tell of ancestors springing from seeds provided by Earth Goddess.’
    • ‘For much of the past two centuries, the Chumash of Santa Ynez lived in anonymity and abject poverty.’
  • 2mass noun The extinct Hokan language of the Chumash.

    • ‘He can speak Chumash, Spanish and English, and in fact, English is his third language.’
    • ‘Their language was apparently largely related to the Chumash spoken by the Indians on the mainland of Santa Barbara country.’


  • Relating to the Chumash or their language.

    • ‘Gambling proceeds pay for free medical care at a modern Chumash clinic and subsidize private schooling, tutors and college tuition.’
    • ‘She said that the project helps people of all ages understand a basic lesson for all time: ‘One of the most precious things that the Chumash people lost is their land.’’
    • ‘After much thought, the next creation was the Rainbow Bridge so that the wise grandmother goddess could lead Chumash people to cross over in safety.’
    • ‘The origin of the name Ojai is uncertain: One possibility is the Chumash word for ‘nest,’ and that seems reasonable, given the mountain-sheltered setting.’
    • ‘Eight to nine-thousand year old stone tools recovered from California's Channel Islands resemble those used for boat-building much more recently by Chumash Indians.’


Chumash, literally ‘islander’.