[ shi-nook, -nook, chi- ]
See synonyms for Chinook on
noun,plural Chi·nooks, (especially collectively) Chi·nook.
  1. a member of a formerly numerous North American Indian people originally inhabiting the northern shore of the mouth of the Columbia River and the adjacent territory.

  2. either of the two languages of the Chinook Indians.: Compare Lower Chinook, Upper Chinook.

  1. (lowercase) a warm, dry wind that blows at intervals down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

  2. (lowercase) chinook salmon.

  3. a U.S. Army cargo helicopter in service since 1962 and capable of ferrying 12 tons of supplies and troops.

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

How to use Chinook in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chinook (1 of 2)


/ (tʃɪˈnuːk, -ˈnʊk) /

  1. Also called: snow eater a warm dry southwesterly wind blowing down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains

  2. Also called: wet chinook a warm moist wind blowing onto the Washington and Oregon coasts from the sea

Origin of chinook

C19: from Salish c`inuk

British Dictionary definitions for Chinook (2 of 2)


/ (tʃɪˈnuːk, -ˈnʊk) /

  1. plural -nook or -nooks a Native American people of the Pacific coast near the Columbia River

  2. the language of this people, probably forming a separate branch of the Penutian phylum

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

Scientific definitions for chinook


[ shĭ-nuk, chĭ- ]

  1. A moist, warm wind blowing from the sea in coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest.

  2. A warm, dry wind descending from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, causing a rapid rise in temperature. These winds often melt snow quite rapidly, at times at a rate of up to a foot per hour. See also foehn.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.