- a family of languages spoken by American Indians in most of inland northwest Canada and Alaska, in coastal Oregon and California, and in Arizona and the Rio Grande basin, and including especially Navajo, Apache, and Chipewyan.Compare family(def 14).
- a member of any of various American Indian peoples speaking Athabaskan.
- belonging to or characteristic of the Athabaskans.
Origin of Athabaskan
Examples from the Web for athabascan
Historical Examples of athabascan
This section of the Athabascan boundary has been much disputed.
If Athabascan, the stretch in question belonged to the Nongatl (Saia).
It was not until 1903 that Goddard showed their Athabascan affinity (Goddard, 1903b).
The Hupa are the best known of the California Athabascan groups.
And the Kolooch languages are equally Eskimo with the Athabascan.Opuscula
Robert Gordon Latham
1846, Athapaskan, from the name of the North American Indian people, from Lake Athabaska in northern Alberta, Canada, from Woods Cree (Algonquian) Athapaskaw, said by Webster to mean literally "grass or reeds here and there," referring to the delta region west of the lake. Also in reference to their language group.