noun Ah·te·na \ˈä-tə-nə\
variants: less commonly



Definition of Ahtena









  1. 1a :  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 b :  a member of such people

  2. 2 :  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

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of ahtena

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

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Ahtena? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

Get Word of the Day daily email!