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[man-i-too] /ˈmæn ɪˌtu/
noun, plural manitous (especially collectively) manitou.
(among the Algonquian Indians) a supernatural being that controls nature; a spirit, deity, or object that possesses supernatural power.
Also, manito
[man-i-toh] /ˈmæn ɪˌtoʊ/ (Show IPA),
[man-i-too] /ˈmæn ɪˌtu/ (Show IPA)
Origin of manitou
Unami Delaware
1605-15; < Unami Delaware monə́t·u, reinforced by or reborrowed from Ojibwa manito· and other cognates (all < Proto-Algonquian *maneto·wa); spelling influenced by equivalent French word Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for manitu
Historical Examples
  • Distinguo: they are parts, not of the 'totem animal,' but of the adopted animal of the individual, often called his manitu.

  • If we say 'the totem animal,' we beg the question; we identify the totem with the manitu of the individual.

  • But manitu is perhaps too wide and vague a term: it usually connotes anything mystical or supernormal.

  • To obtain the 'personal totem' (manitu) a youth must first listen to his elders.

  • Others supposed that all kinds of animals had their type in the world of souls, a manitu, which kept guard over them.

    Myth and Science Tito Vignoli
British Dictionary definitions for manitu


noun (pl) -tous, -tus, -tos, -tou, -tu, -to
(among the Algonquian Indians) a deified spirit or force
Word Origin
C17: from Algonquian; related to Ojibwa manito spirit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for manitu



also manito, "spirit, deity, supernatural being," 1690s, from a word found throughout the Algonquian languages (cf. Delaware manutoow, Ojibwa manidoo), first in English from Unami Delaware /manet:u/.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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