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Origin of mackinaw

First recorded in 1755–65; spelling variant of Mackinac
Also called Mackinaw coat, mackinaw coat.
Related formsmack·i·nawed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mackinaw

Historical Examples of mackinaw

  • In silence he arose and slipped on his mackinaw blanket coat.

    Blazed Trail Stories

    Stewart Edward White

  • He was dressed in mackinaw, and wore a fur cap with drooping ear-flaps.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • It is known that the Mission of Mackinaw fell on the downfall of the Jesuits.

    Old Mackinaw

    W. P. Strickland.

  • Mackinaw has more than the advantages of Cincinnati for manufactures.

    Old Mackinaw

    W. P. Strickland.

  • At the Straits of Mackinaw the whole system of land and water centres.

    Old Mackinaw

    W. P. Strickland.

Word Origin and History for mackinaw


type of boat used on the Great Lakes, 1812, from Mackinac, name of a port and island in Michigan, from Ojibway (Algonquian) mitchimakinak "many turtles," from mishiin- "be many" + mikinaak "snapping turtle." As a type of heavy blanket given to the Indians by the U.S. government, it is attested from 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper