Definition of Taino in US English:


nounPlural Tainos

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

    • ‘I've been reading about early Jamaica and the Taino.’
    • ‘The Taino of the northern Caribbean islands, for instance, used vegetable dyes to affix images of their Cemis - spirit guardians - onto their skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 indigenous peoples, Carib, Arawak, Taino, all but disappeared under the impact of Spanish conquest.’
    • ‘The word Indian is not the term by which the people first encountered by Columbus, the Taino, called themselves.’
    • ‘The tall standing figure is a Taino; the Apache wears an apron, carries a bow, and rides a horse.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘Three main native groups inhabited Cuba when Columbus reached it in 1492 - the Ciboney, the Guanahatabey and the Taino.’
    • ‘For these philosophical adherents, the Taino continue to exist only as subsumed elements within Puerto Rico's tri-racial dynamic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Often they were named after pre-Hispanic goddesses venerated by indigenous Cuban peoples like the Taino and Ciboney.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2The extinct Arawakan language of the Taino.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However only 6 sentences of Taíno have been recorded.’


  • Relating to or denoting the Taino or their language.

    • ‘Dominicans are a blend of the indigenous Taino Indians, the colonizing Spaniards and the Africans brought in chains to work the sugar plantations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sometimes I wonder if when Columbus came and all the Taino Indians were waiting, which one of those was my ancestor.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The entire Taino population died out.’
    • ‘The rights of the Taino people were not an issue - the concern was simply to steal their gold.’
    • ‘"Once people get a sense of the big picture," one Taino man suggested, "we can join forces."’
    • ‘So far, the site is not the largest Taino city ever discovered.’
    • ‘The Spanish spread the Taino name for the plant wherever they distributed the crop throughout the world.’
    • ‘Gonzalez is a founding member of Taino del Norte, an organization dedicated to the study and promotion of Taino culture.’
    • ‘Almost all our Spanish and Taino history is submerged beneath British and African origins and even the British influence is fast being eclipsed.’
    • ‘He has been fighting for the rights of Taino people ever since he was a boy of fourteen.’
    • ‘The English word barbecue also comes from the Taino term for the rock slabs on which they baked bread.’
    • ‘Very little is known about the Taino Indians because they were nearly annihilated by 1515.’
    • ‘We do not under any circumstance support the selling of any of our sacred Taino images or objects.’
    • ‘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’.