[in-juh n]

noun Older Use: Often Offensive.

an American Indian.

Origin of Injun

1805–15; variant of Indian, with assibilated d; cf. Cajun

Usage note

Injun is an informal, nonstandard spelling of Indian. See also honest Injun. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for injun

Amerind, Amerindian, Indian, injun

Examples from the Web for injun

Historical Examples of injun

  • I dunno's there's any more Injun in me than there is devil in you!'

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • "Injun's on top," he diagnosed sententiously after a minute.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • "Clark and I was going up to the Injun camp," spoke up Gene.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • I told him to kill you, you lying, renegade Injun—and if he couldn't, I can!

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • That fellow you was just talking with is as good a canoeman as an Injun.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for injun



US an informal or dialect word for (American) Indian
honest Injun (interjection) slang genuinely; really
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 injun



1812 (from 1683 as Ingin), spelling representing American English colloquial pronunciation of Indian (q.v.). Honest Injun as an asseveration of truthfuless first recorded 1868, from the notion of assurance extracted from Indians of their lack of duplicity.

"Honest Injun?" inquired Mr. Wilder, using a Western phrase equivalent to demanding of the narrator of a story whether he is strictly adhering to the truth. ["The Genial Showman," London, 1870]

The term honest Indian is attested from 1676.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper