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[mak-uh-naw] /ˈmæk əˌnɔ/
a short double-breasted coat of a thick woolen material, commonly plaid.
Also called Mackinaw coat, mackinaw coat.
Origin of mackinaw
First recorded in 1755-65; spelling variant of Mackinac
Related forms
mackinawed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mackinaw
Historical Examples
  • In silence he arose and slipped on his mackinaw blanket coat.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • He was dressed in mackinaw, and wore a fur cap with drooping ear-flaps.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • It is known that the Mission of mackinaw fell on the downfall of the Jesuits.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • mackinaw has more than the advantages of Cincinnati for manufactures.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • At the Straits of mackinaw the whole system of land and water centres.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • That the advantage by water lines is in favor of mackinaw, we have shown.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • mackinaw is at the head of Lake Michigan—Chicago, at the foot.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • mackinaw is at the junction of three great lakes; Chicago at the foot of one.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • Re-entering the Saut the steamer shapes her course for mackinaw.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • They slipped on mackinaw coats and disappeared into the white swirling night.

    The Highgrader William MacLeod Raine
Word Origin and History for mackinaw


type of boat used on the Great Lakes, 1812, from Mackinac, name of a port and island in Michigan, from Ojibway (Algonquian) mitchimakinak "many turtles," from mishiin- "be many" + mikinaak "snapping turtle." As a type of heavy blanket given to the Indians by the U.S. government, it is attested from 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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