or Na·de·ne

[ nah-dey-nee, nah-dey-ney ]
/ nɑˈdeɪ ni, ˌnɑ deɪˈneɪ /


a group of North American Indian languages, comprising the Athabaskan family, Eyak, Tlingit, and Haida, hypothetically considered to be descendants of a single protolanguage: the genetic relationship of either Tlingit or Haida to Athabaskan and Eyak is now disputed.
the hypothesized protolanguage itself.


of, belonging to, or pertaining to Na-Dene.

Origin of Na-Dene

1915; name coined by Edward Sapir from assumed reflexes of a single Na-Dene root: Haida na to live, house, Tlingit na people, Athabaskan *-ne in dene, representing a word in Athabaskan languages for “person, people,” e.g., Navajo diné Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for na-dene



/ (nɑːˈdeɪnɪ, nəˈdiːn) /


a phylum of North American Indian languages including Athapascan, Tlingit, and Haida

Word Origin for Na-Dene

from Haida na to dwell + Athapascan dene people; coined by Edward Sapir (1884–1939), American anthropologist
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