Definition of Algonquin in US 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.

    • ‘The Algonquins had named the territory he lived in Great Water, michi ganni.’
    • ‘Soon, Montagnais, Algonquins, Hurons, and French, and how many more, would form a single people.’
    • ‘Montagnais, Algonkins and Hurons engaged in exchange involving goods, people, and ideas with both kinds of French.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2The dialect of Ojibwa spoken by the Algonquin.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And as we were often told, ‘Mohawk means cannibal, in Algonquin.’’
    • ‘The Algonquin/Algonkin are a nation living in southern Quebec and Ontario. They speak Algonquin/Algonkin.’
    • ‘Everyone here came from somewhere else, unless your native language is Algonquin.’
    • ‘Although he is far better known for his novels, Norman continues to work as a translator from Algonquin and Cree.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Algonquin is a musical language that has complicated verbs with many parts.’
    • ‘An eighth language of the same subgroup of the Algonquian family, Algonquin, is listed separately, apparently for historical rather than linguistic reasons.’
    • ‘In the west children prefer the national language, although some may speak Algonquin; most adults speak Algonquin.’
    • ‘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.’


  • Relating to the Algonquin or their language.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘According to Algonquin legend, Tremblant would receive a violent shaking from the god Manitou if man ever disturbed its natural setting.’
    • ‘And that's in Cree, which comes from the Algonquin language.’


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’.