Chi·​nook shə-ˈnu̇k How to pronounce Chinook (audio) -ˈnük How to pronounce Chinook (audio)
plural Chinook or Chinooks
: a member of an American Indian people of the north shore of the Columbia River at its mouth
: a Chinookan language of the Chinook and other nearby peoples
or less commonly chinook
: a warm moist southwest wind of the coast from Oregon northward
: a warm dry wind that descends the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
or less commonly chinook : chinook salmon
: any of a rare breed of large, muscular dogs that were developed in New Hampshire in the early 1900s as sled and working dogs and have a yellow, reddish-yellow, or yellowish-brown coat and calm temperament
Among the dogs he [Arthur Treadwell Walden] used for breeding the Chinook were descendants of Admiral Peary's Greenland expedition huskies, along with mastiff-types.John Nolan

Examples of Chinook in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last year, populations of fall-run Chinook salmon were so low that regulators shut down the fishing season along the coast. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Among a raft of orders worth some €30 billion, Scholz’s government has earmarked €10 billion for 35 F-35A Lightning fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. and is also buying 60 Chinook helicopters from Boeing Co. for about €8 billion. Arne Delfs, Fortune, 18 Feb. 2024 Varieties known for their high yield and versatility — such as Cascade, Columbus, Chinook and Crystal — are good selections for San Diego County. Barb Sands, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Feb. 2024 There was no open fire, no Chinook roasting on wooden skewers. Melina Mara, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2023 How to catch them: Chinook salmon are an awesome, majestic and powerful fish. Jordan Rodriguez, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 As much as 80 percent more Chinook salmon could return to the Klamath River basin in the next 30 years, and ocean salmon harvests could increase by up to 46 percent, per NPR. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Jan. 2024 Akel, who will ride with his wife, Courtney, and their 14-year-old daughter, Meadow, has worked at the zoo since 2002 and began his career caring for its three polar bears, including 28-year-old polar bear Chinook, who is depicted on the float. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Dec. 2023 This year is expected to be one of the smallest runs of fall Chinook since the Yurok tribe began keeping track, McCovey said. Melina Mara, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Lower Chehalis (Salishan language of western Washington) c̓inúk, name of a Chinook village

First Known Use

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Chinook was in 1795

Dictionary Entries Near Chinook

Cite this Entry

“Chinook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


Chi·​nook shə-ˈnu̇k How to pronounce Chinook (audio) chə- How to pronounce Chinook (audio)
plural Chinook or Chinooks
: a member of an American Indian people of Oregon

More from Merriam-Webster on Chinook

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