• synonyms


or oo·mi·ak

  1. an open Eskimo boat that consists of a wooden frame covered with skins and provided with several thwarts: used for transport of goods and passengers.
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Origin of umiak

First recorded in 1760–70, umiak is from the Inuit word umiaq women's boat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for umiak

Historical Examples

  • And the umiak and its crew of women stayed there, and wintered in that place.

    Eskimo Folktales


  • I have found a dead whale; to-morrow we must all go out in the umiak and cut it up.

  • And at the same moment the sea was lashed into foam, but the umiak had reached the land.

  • The covering of the umiak is made of skins of the largest seals.

  • The skins and poles can be transported when the umiak is able to carry them.

British Dictionary definitions for umiak



  1. a large open boat made of stretched skins, used by InuitCompare kayak
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Word Origin

C18: from Greenland Inuktitut: boat for the use of women
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 umiak


"large Eskimo boat," c.1743, from Eskimo umiaq "an open skin boat." Said by 18c.-19c. sources to be a "woman's boat," as opposed to the kayak, which was worked exclusively by men.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper