- a member of an aboriginal population of northernmost Japan, having lighter skin and hairier bodies than other Japanese.
- the language of the Ainus.
Examples from the Web for ainu
We should ask what a Hairy Ainu was, and how hairy he was, and above all what sort of Ainu he was.What I Saw in America
G. K. Chesterton
One can hardly find a single Ainu whose eyes are not ruined.Flash-lights from the Seven Seas
William L. Stidger
The Ainu is probably the purest type of primitive man in existence.Religion and Lust
On this island the aborigines of Japan, called Ainu, now live.The Gist of Japan
R. B. Peery
The only skull found in these heaps is dolichocephalic and reminds one of the Ainu skull.The Races of Man
- plural -nus or -nu a member of the aboriginal people of Japan, now mostly intermixed with Mongoloid immigrants whose skin colour is more yellowish
- the language of this people, sometimes tentatively associated with Altaic, still spoken in parts of Hokkaido and elsewhere
Word Origin and History for ainu
people native to northern Japan and far eastern Russia, 1819, from the Ainu self-designation, literally "man, human." Once considered to be Caucasian, based on their appearance; but DNA testing has disproven this. Their language is an isolate with no known relatives.