1. a mixture of bark, dried leaves, and sometimes tobacco, formerly smoked by the Indians and pioneers in the Ohio valley.
  2. any of various plants used in this mixture, especially the common bearberry, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, of the heath family.
Also kin·ni·kin·nic, kin·ni·ki·nick, kin·ni·ki·nic, kin·ni·kin·nik, killickinnic.

Origin of kinnikinnick

1790–1800; earlier killikinnick, etc., < Unami Delaware kələk˙əní˙k˙an literally, admixture, derivative of Proto-Algonquian *keleken- mix (it) with something different by hand Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kinnikinnick

Historical Examples of kinnikinnick

  • In the woods the berries of the kinnikinnick grew red, and on the 181 lawn the mountain ash trees stood clothed in holiday attire.

  • The search for kinnikinnick was not, however, her real reason for wishing to see Carver.

  • Afterward she found out that it was the kinnikinnick vine, and that the Indians used it to smoke in their pipes.

    Nelly's Silver Mine

    Helen Hunt Jackson

  • All one day Billy worked hard digging up young pine-trees, and Lucinda gathered a great quantity of kinnikinnick vines.

    Nelly's Silver Mine

    Helen Hunt Jackson

  • The girls tried to assume the airs of smokers, and puffed their kinnikinnick furiously.

British Dictionary definitions for kinnikinnick


kinnikinic killikinick

  1. the dried leaves and bark of certain plants, sometimes with tobacco added, formerly smoked by some North American Indians
  2. any of the plants used for such a preparation, such as the sumach Rhus glabra

Word Origin for kinnikinnick

C18: from Algonquian, literally: that which is mixed; related to Natick kinukkinuk mixture
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