noun, plural Ai·nus, (especially collectively) Ai·nu.

a member of an aboriginal population of northernmost Japan, having lighter skin and hairier bodies than other Japanese.
the language of the Ainus. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ainu

Historical Examples of 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.

  • The Ainu is probably the purest type of primitive man in existence.

  • On this island the aborigines of Japan, called Ainu, now live.

  • The only skull found in these heaps is dolichocephalic and reminds one of the Ainu skull.

    The Races of Man

    Joseph Deniker

British Dictionary definitions for ainu



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 for Ainu

Ainu: man
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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper