[shi-noo k, -nook, chi-]

noun, plural Chi·nooks, (especially collectively) Chi·nook.

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.
either of the two languages of the Chinook Indians.Compare Lower Chinook, Upper Chinook.
(lowercase) a warm, dry wind that blows at intervals down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
(lowercase) chinook salmon.
a U.S. Army cargo helicopter in service since 1962 and capable of ferrying 12 tons of supplies and troops. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for chinook



Also called: snow eater a warm dry southwesterly wind blowing down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Also called: wet chinook a warm moist wind blowing onto the Washington and Oregon coasts from the sea

Word Origin for chinook

C19: from Salish c`inuk



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

Word Origin and History for chinook


name for a group of related native people in the Columbia River region of Washington and Oregon, from Salishan /činuk/, name of a village site. Name also extended to a type of salmon (1851) and warm spring wind. Chinook jargon was a mishmash of native (Chinook and Nootka), French, and English words; it once was lingua franca in the Pacific Northwest, and it is the earliest attested use of the word (1840).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for chinook


[shĭ-nuk, chĭ-]

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