[ ath-uh-bas-kuhn ]

noun,plural Ath·a·bas·cans, (especially collectively) Ath·a·bas·can for 2.
  1. a family of languages spoken by North American Indians in most of Alaska and inland northwest Canada, in coastal Oregon and California, and in Arizona and the Rio Grande basin, and including especially Navajo, Apache, and Chipewyan.: Compare family (def. 16).

  2. a member of any of various North American Indian peoples speaking Athabascan.

  1. belonging to or characteristic of the Athabascan.

Origin of Athabascan

First recorded in 1770–80; earlier Athapasca(s), introduced as a term for the Canadian Athabascans (from Woods Cree ahδapaska·w “Lake Athabasca,” literally, “there are reeds here and there,” from Proto-Algonquian aʔlap(y)- “net, reticulated” + -ašk- “plant” + derivational elements) + -an
  • Also (Older Spelling) Ath·a·bas·kan; (Older Spelling) Ath·a·pas·kan, Ath·a·pas·can [ath-uh-pas-kuhn] /ˌæθ əˈpæs kən/ .

Words Nearby Athabascan Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Athabascan in a sentence

  • And the Kolooch languages are equally Eskimo with the Athabascan.

    Opuscula | Robert Gordon Latham
  • This took the form of studying the Athabascan gutturals with the aid of Lachlan's second son, a boy of eighteen.

    Burned Bridges | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • It was not until 1903 that Goddard showed their Athabascan affinity (Goddard, 1903b).

    California Athabascan Groups | Martin A. Baumhoff
  • If Athabascan, the stretch in question belonged to the Nongatl (Saia).

    California Athabascan Groups | Martin A. Baumhoff
  • This section of the Athabascan boundary has been much disputed.

    California Athabascan Groups | Martin A. Baumhoff