Ath·​a·​bas·​can ˌa-thə-ˈba-skən How to pronounce Athabascan (audio)
variants or Athabaskan or less commonly Athapaskan or Athapascan
: a family of languages spoken primarily by certain Indigenous peoples of western Canada, Alaska, and the U.S. Southwest
plural Athabascans or Athabaskans also Athapaskans or Athapascans : a member of a people speaking an Athabascan language

Examples of Athabascan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The people living in the area were likely ancestors to the Tanana Athabascan people, a semi-nomadic hunting, trapping, and fishing tribe of inland Alaska Natives. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 18 Jan. 2024 Willis’s family are Koyukon Athabascan and are part of the Huslia tribe. Nicolás Viñuela, NBC News, 7 Nov. 2023 The ensuing novel offers prime adventure while deftly weaving aspects of the Koyukon Athabascan culture that forms Sam, Cara and other major characters. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Athabascan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Athabasca, a Cree band, from Cree dialect aδapaska·w, name for the area east of Lake Athabasca, literally, (where) there are reeds one after another

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of Athabascan was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near Athabascan

Cite this Entry

“Athabascan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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