[oh-jib-wey, -wuh]
noun, plural O·jib·was, (especially collectively) O·jib·wa.
  1. a member of a large tribe of North American Indians found in Canada and the U.S., principally in the region around Lakes Huron and Superior but extending as far west as Saskatchewan and North Dakota.
  2. an Algonquian language used by the Ojibwa, Algonquin, and Ottawa Indians.
Also Ojibway.

Origin of Ojibwa

1690–1700, Americanism; < Ojibwa očipwe·, orig. the name of a single local group
Also called Chippewa.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ojibwa

Historical Examples of ojibwa

  • In the Ojibwa tongue, disaster; an unexpected affliction that strikes hard.

  • It was the Metropolis of a portion of the Ojibwa, and Ottawa nations.

    Old Mackinaw

    W. P. Strickland.

  • It was the metropolis of a portion of the Ojibwa and Ottawa nations.

    Old Mackinaw

    W. P. Strickland.

  • On Thursday evening there came Hole-in-the-day, an Ojibwa chief, with ten men.

    Mary and I

    Stephen Return Riggs

  • Nabinoi / Nabanoi / Nabunwa seem to refer to the same Ojibwa elder.

    The Indian in his Wigwam

    Henry R. Schoolcraft

British Dictionary definitions for ojibwa


  1. plural -was or -wa a member of a North American Indian people living in a region west of Lake Superior
  2. the language of this people, belonging to the Algonquian family
Also: Chippewa
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

Word Origin and History for ojibwa


Algonquian people of North America living along the shores of Lake Superior, 1700, from Ojibwa O'chepe'wag "plaited shoes," in reference to their puckered moccasins, which were unlike those of neighboring tribes. The older form in English is Chippewa, which is usually retained in U.S., but since c.1850 Canadian English has taken up the more phonetically correct Ojibwa, and as a result the two forms of the word have begun to be used in reference to slightly differing groups in the two countries. Some modern Chippewas prefer anishinaabe, which means "original people."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper