a short double-breasted coat of a thick woolen material, commonly plaid.

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. 2019

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.

  • That the advantage by water lines is in favor of Mackinaw, we have shown.

    Old Mackinaw

    W. P. Strickland.

  • Mackinaw is at the junction of three great lakes; Chicago at the foot of one.

    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