Definition of Chukchi in US English:


(also Chukchee)


  • 1A member of an indigenous people of extreme northeastern Siberia.

    • ‘Seventy to eighty of these canoes, manned by thirty to forty natives, would cross the stormy strait to obtain furred reindeer skins for clothing, reindeer sinew for thread, and Russian leaf tobacco from the Siberian Chukchis.’
    • ‘Watson further reports his novel studies of the systematics of sound in British Neolithic monuments, tellingly placing them side-by-side with ethnographic reports of shamanistic ritual among the Siberian Chukchee.’
    • ‘The Chukchi regularly take about 140 whales a year for local consumption, and the Makah are allowed up to five.’
    • ‘Competitions of these types are often performed following the reindeer sacrifices of the inland Chukchi and the sea-spirit sacrifices of the coastal Chukchi.’
    • ‘The trek, by the way, was to meet the Chukchis in Siberia, who live the way their ancestors did 20,000 years ago.’
  • 2The language of the Chukchi, which belongs to a small, isolated language family.

    • ‘In fact, many neighboring peoples, including Russians, speak Chukchi as a second language.’
    • ‘According to the Russian Census of 2002, about 7,700 of the 15,700 Chukchi people speak Chukchi; knowledge of the Chukchi language is decreasing, and most Chukchis now speak the Russian language’
    • ‘According to the bureau, since many of the 15000 native Chukchi in Russia do not read Chukchi, the institute also made an audiotape of the translation.’
    • ‘For some, Russian is their first language, but the majority of Chukchis still consider Chukchi their native language, and it can be heard spoken in tundra and city alike.’
    • ‘Since the 1950s, the most famous Chukchi writer has been Yuri Rytkheu, whose poems, novels, and short stories are written in both Chukchi and Russian.’


  • Relating to the Chukchi or their language.

    • ‘He has traveled the world, collecting blood samples from people of far-flung cultures: Aborigines in Australia, the Chukchi tundra dwellers of Siberia, farmers in the hills of Afghanistan, and nomads in the deserts of Africa.’
    • ‘Domesticated huskies were originally bred by the Chukchi tribes of N.E. Siberia as endurance sled dogs to pull a light load at a fast pace over great distances, in freezing cold weather on the smallest possible diet.’
    • ‘The only people allowed to hunt grey whales are the native Chukchi people of Russia and the Makah of the United States.’
    • ‘In the 1960s and 1970s, the Soviet government abolished many native settlements, dispersed their former inhabitants, and made Russian the language of instruction in Chukchi schools.’
    • ‘The Siberian Husky was bred by the nomadic Chukchi tribes of Northeast Asia.’


Russian (plural).