- (among the Algonquian Indians) a supernatural being that controls nature; a spirit, deity, or object that possesses supernatural power.
Also man·i·to [man-i-toh] /ˈmæn ɪˌtoʊ/, man·i·tu [man-i-too] /ˈmæn ɪˌtu/.
Origin of manitou
1605–15; < Unami Delaware monə́t·u, reinforced by or reborrowed from Ojibwa manito· and other cognates (all < Proto-Algonquian *maneto·wa); spelling influenced by equivalent French word
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for manito
Manito, to us, is God—He whom we serve and honour; He whom we love.The Fiery Totem
The Manito made one or two unsteady steps, but recovered himself.
"You had great gifts of strength awarded to you," said the Manito.
Both the mother and the wife urged Monedowa to be aware of the manito.
The manito of the Indians taught them how to do many things.The Book of Nature Myths
manitu manito (ˈmænɪˌtəʊ)
- (among the Algonquian Indians) a deified spirit or force
C17: from Algonquian; related to Ojibwa manito spirit
Word Origin and History for manito
also manito, "spirit, deity, supernatural being," 1690s, from a word found throughout the Algonquian languages (cf. Delaware manutoow, Ojibwa manidoo), first in English from Unami Delaware /manet:u/.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper