Definition of Taino in English:



  • 1A member of an extinct Arawak people formerly inhabiting the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas.

    • ‘Three main native groups inhabited Cuba when Columbus reached it in 1492 - the Ciboney, the Guanahatabey and the Taino.’
    • ‘The indigenous peoples, Carib, Arawak, Taino, all but disappeared under the impact of Spanish conquest.’
    • ‘The tall standing figure is a Taino; the Apache wears an apron, carries a bow, and rides a horse.’
    • ‘Often they were named after pre-Hispanic goddesses venerated by indigenous Cuban peoples like the Taino and Ciboney.’
    • ‘The Taino of the northern Caribbean islands, for instance, used vegetable dyes to affix images of their Cemis - spirit guardians - onto their skin.’
    • ‘I've been reading about early Jamaica and the Taino.’
    • ‘The word was pronounced ‘ashi’ by the Taino and by Columbus, but the sound changes of 16th-century Spanish led to the modern spelling and pronunciation, aji.’
    • ‘The Atlantic slave trade indeed began because Spanish colonists needed Africans to do the work the Taino, Caribs, Mayans, and Aztecs refused to do, but slavery was an old idea in the New World, too.’
    • ‘For these philosophical adherents, the Taino continue to exist only as subsumed elements within Puerto Rico's tri-racial dynamic.’
    • ‘She used Spanish titles, alluded to Santeria, the Abakua, and the Taino, incorporated actual earth and sand from Cuba, and maintained always that her work represented the embodiment of her state of exile.’
    • ‘The Taino, the first people to greet Columbus on the island of Hispaniola in 1492, spoke an Arawak language, which became extinct within a century and a half of the white ‘invasion’.’
    • ‘Nothing survives to indicate what the Taino made of Columbus when he landed on the island of Guanahani, now called San Salvador, on October 12, 1492.’
    • ‘The word Indian is not the term by which the people first encountered by Columbus, the Taino, called themselves.’
  • 2mass noun An extinct Caribbean language of the Arawakan group.

    • ‘Hurricano appears in Shakespeare, but only in his last plays; the form shows that it came by way of Spanish, not directly from its West Indian origin, the Amerindian language Taino.’
    • ‘However only 6 sentences of Taíno have been recorded.’
    • ‘Although the Taíno language is not spoken anymore, many Taíno words have survived in the Spanish language and in some areas a mixture of Taino and Spanish is still spoken.’


  • Relating to or denoting the Taino or their language.

    • ‘He has been fighting for the rights of Taino people ever since he was a boy of fourteen.’
    • ‘The entire Taino population died out.’
    • ‘In 1494-95, after Columbus imposed a tribute of gold to be paid by every Taino man, woman or child, Guarionex went to the first colonizer with a counter offer.’
    • ‘Yet our claim to the Taino bloodline is as tenuous as it is ardent: by the mid-1500s only 500 Tainos had survived the merciless Spaniards.’
    • ‘The Spanish spread the Taino name for the plant wherever they distributed the crop throughout the world.’
    • ‘The English word barbecue also comes from the Taino term for the rock slabs on which they baked bread.’
    • ‘The rights of the Taino people were not an issue - the concern was simply to steal their gold.’
    • ‘Perhaps those who publicly refute the validity of a contemporary Taino identity could better direct their arguments toward these institutions themselves, rather than the so-called Taino revivalists.’
    • ‘"Once people get a sense of the big picture," one Taino man suggested, "we can join forces."’
    • ‘We do not under any circumstance support the selling of any of our sacred Taino images or objects.’
    • ‘When Columbus landed on what is now Puerto Rico, he saw Taino natives slow-roasting meat on a grid over a pit filled with smoldering, burned down wood.’
    • ‘Sometimes I wonder if when Columbus came and all the Taino Indians were waiting, which one of those was my ancestor.’
    • ‘Very little is known about the Taino Indians because they were nearly annihilated by 1515.’
    • ‘Today, there are no Arawak / Taino Indians here.’
    • ‘The hammock is also a Taino invention discovered by the Spanish upon their arrival in the New World.’
    • ‘So far, the site is not the largest Taino city ever discovered.’
    • ‘Almost all our Spanish and Taino history is submerged beneath British and African origins and even the British influence is fast being eclipsed.’
    • ‘Dominicans are a blend of the indigenous Taino Indians, the colonizing Spaniards and the Africans brought in chains to work the sugar plantations.’
    • ‘Gonzalez is a founding member of Taino del Norte, an organization dedicated to the study and promotion of Taino culture.’
    • ‘Jose Pedreira's Taino web page is a collection of texts in English and Spanish related to Taino history and culture.’


From Taino taino ‘noble, lord’.