Definition of Montagnais in US English:



  • 1A member of a North American people living in a vast area of Canada from north of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the southern shores of Hudson Bay.

    • ‘Marc Brouillette, lawyer for the band council, said the main thing the people of Montagnais want is the whole story.’
    • ‘There are almost 13,000 Montagnais in Quebec with another 800 living in Labrador.’
    • ‘Both the Montagnais and the Naskapi live in shelters called wigwams.’
    • ‘However, every summer Québec played host to approximately fifteen hundred Algonquins and Montagnais.’
  • 2The Algonquian language of the Montagnais, closely related to Cree.

    • ‘In the end, while he admitted that he spoke Montagnais.’
    • ‘Most Innu people speak one of their two native languages, Montagnais and Naskapi.’


  • Relating to the Montagnais or their language.

    • ‘And most Montagnais children are raised speaking their native language.’
    • ‘The Montagnais man awaits the slight change in the weather that signals the coming of winter in a night-long vigil.’
    • ‘The canoe is destroyed by rocks and the two white men turn to their Montagnais companion for help.’
    • ‘While in agreement with Champlain's ideals, the Montagnais chiefs found the pledge amusing, since that promise had probably been vainly reiterated many times in the previous thirty years.’
    • ‘Barrett is initially frightened, subsequently irritated, and finally angry at the continued presence of the Montagnais man, signalled by his cooking fire, smoking just beyond the last portage.’


From French, literally ‘of the mountains’.