Ah·​te·​na | \ ˈä-tə-nə \
variants: or less commonly Ahtna \ ˈät-​nə \
plural Ahtena or Ahtenas or Ahtna or Ahtnas

Definition of Ahtena

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 : 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

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First Known Use of Ahtena

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for Ahtena

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

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The first known use of Ahtena was in 1877

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Cite this Entry

“Ahtena.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ahtena. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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