Chu·​mash ˈchü-ˌmash How to pronounce Chumash (audio)
plural Chumash : a member of an Indigenous people of southwestern California
: the family of languages spoken by the Chumash people

Examples of Chumash in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Carrizo Plain stretches 50 miles between the Temblor and Caliente mountains, a grassy plain and drainage basin where Chumash, Yokuts and other Indigenous peoples hunted and traded before settlers tried their hand at dryland farming. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2024 This past October, members of the Chumash tribe performed a cultural burn on part of the grassland, and the site draws birders and kids on bikes, who use its pathways to get to school. Cara Buckley, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2024 On weekends, Native American guides are available to discuss the Chumash culture and show visitors a replica of a Chumash home, a domelike structure called an ’ap. Eric A. Taub, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2023 However, European invasions sparking death and displacement led to a dramatic dwindling of the Chumash population. Elise Preston, CBS News, 11 Nov. 2023 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently suggested changing the boundary to remove a stretch of the Central Coast that includes Morro Bay and Morro Rock — a site the Northern Chumash tribe considers sacred — to accommodate the development of an offshore wind farm. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 In 2018, for example, a UC Berkeley repatriation of 1,400 ancestral remains to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, situated near the California coast, resulted in a series of missteps and delays, as ProPublica reported this year. Mary Hudetz, ProPublica, 2 Nov. 2023 The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary would also protect marine life and cultural and archaeological sites under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 The campaign raised $18.6 million to purchase the 101-acre site sacred to the Chumash tribe. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2023

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

Word History


from Tcú-mac, name in a coastal Chumash language for the inhabitants of Santa Rosa Island

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Chumash was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near Chumash

Cite this Entry

“Chumash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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