Ya·​no·​ma·​mi ˌyä-nō-ˈmä-mē How to pronounce Yanomami (audio)
variants or less commonly Yanomamo or Yanomama
plural Yanomami also Yanomamis or Yanomamo or Yanomama
: an indigenous people inhabiting the rainforests of southern Venezuela and northern Brazil
also : a member of the Yanomami people
: the family of four closely related languages spoken by the Yanomami

Examples of Yanomami in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some of the Yanomami and their defenders praise Cartier’s promotion of Yanomami causes. Fabiano Maisonnave, Fortune, 15 May 2023 The Yanomami didn’t come into regular contact with the outside world until the 1940s. João Paulo Pires, Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2023 Keen to send a clear message from the start, Lula made expelling the wildcat miners from the Yanomami reserve one of his first major acts since taking office on Jan. 1. Ana Ionova, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Apr. 2023 Later, the two visited the territory of the Yanomami people, a huge reserve in the northern Amazon. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 3 Apr. 2023 More recently, his administration has come under investigation for its response to a humanitarian crisis in Yanomami Indigenous territory and whether Bolsonaro maneuvered to wrongfully keep jewelry from the Saudi government that was worth several million dollars. Terrence McCoy and Moriah Balingit, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Mar. 2023 In early February, Brazil deployed hundreds of police and soldiers to evict gold miners accused of causing a humanitarian crisis on the Yanomami Indigenous reservation, as thousands of the miners fled. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 3 Mar. 2023 With a population of almost 40,000, the Yanomami, whose land straddles Brazil and Venezuela, is the largest Indigenous group living in relative isolation in the Amazon. New York Times, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Yanomamɨ (language of the western Yanomami) yanomamɨ, a self-designation

First Known Use

1967, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Yanomami was in 1967

Dictionary Entries Near Yanomami

Cite this Entry

“Yanomami.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Yanomami. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


Ya·​no·​ma·​mi ˌyän-ō-ˈmäm-ē How to pronounce Yanomami (audio)
plural Yanomami
: a member of the native people living in the rain forests of southern Venezuela and northern Brazil

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