Chi·​nook | \ shə-ˈnu̇k How to pronounce Chinook (audio) , -ˈnük How to pronounce Chinook (audio) , chə- \
plural Chinook or Chinooks

Definition of Chinook

1 : a member of an American Indian people of the north shore of the Columbia River at its mouth
2 : a Chinookan language of the Chinook and other nearby peoples
3 or less commonly chinook
a : a warm moist southwest wind of the coast from Oregon northward
b : a warm dry wind that descends the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
4 or less commonly chinook : chinook salmon
5 : 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

First Known Use of Chinook

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Chinook

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

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The first known use of Chinook was in 1795

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Cite this Entry

“Chinook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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