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.’
    • ‘However, every summer Québec played host to approximately fifteen hundred Algonquins and Montagnais.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The canoe is destroyed by rocks and the two white men turn to their Montagnais companion for help.’
    • ‘The Montagnais man awaits the slight change in the weather that signals the coming of winter in a night-long vigil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And most Montagnais children are raised speaking their native language.’


From French, literally ‘of the mountains’.