pem·​mi·​can ˈpe-mi-kən How to pronounce pemmican (audio)
variants or less commonly pemican
: a concentrated food used by North American Indians and consisting of lean meat dried, pounded fine, and mixed with melted fat
also : a similar preparation (as of dried beef, flour, molasses, suet) used for emergency rations

Examples of pemmican in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ancient Incas utilized meat dehydration as far back as the 1500s, and indigenous North Americans shared a version of jerky, called pemmican, with the first European settlers. The Editors, Field & Stream, 15 Apr. 2020 At TMIP, Baltzley, a white guy with dreadlocks, offered testing menus inspired by his explorations of Native American cooking — pemmican, bison, berries. Devra First,, 11 July 2018 There was food, too, including a hunk of unappetizing pemmican. John Kelly, Washington Post, 12 May 2018 People used to rely on food that could last, like pemmican and hardtack, Spam and Twinkies. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 4 Oct. 2017

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

Word History


Cree pimihka·n

First Known Use

1743, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pemmican was in 1743

Dictionary Entries Near pemmican

Cite this Entry

“Pemmican.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


pem·​mi·​can ˈpem-i-kən How to pronounce pemmican (audio)
: dried lean meat pounded fine and mixed with melted fat

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