variants or less commonly Ahtna
plural Ahtena or Ahtenas or Ahtna or Ahtnas
: an Athapaskan people of the Copper river valley in southeastern Alaska
The Ahtena hunted a variety of animals, including moose, caribou, mountain sheep, and rabbits.Carl Waldman, Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, (1999) 2006
The Ahtna lived in extended family groups close to good salmon runs, which provided the mainstay of their diet.Greg Fensterman, Hiking Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, 2008
: a member of such people
: the language of the Ahtena people
The Ahtena language is spoken by a minority of tribal members; a dictionary was published in 1990 in the hope of preserving it.Carl Waldman, Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, (1999) 2006
His rebuke caused no little tension and was immediately followed by a conciliatory speech in both Ahtna and English …William E. Simeone, Rifles, Blankets, and Beads, 1995

Word History


borrowed from Russian Atna, borrowed from Ahtna ʔatnaʔ, name for the lower Copper River (in ʔatnaʔ Wt̓e·, literally, "lower Copper River people")

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of Ahtena was in 1877

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Dictionary Entries Near Ahtena

Cite this Entry

“Ahtena.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ahtena. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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