Definition of Arawak in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈerəˌwäk/

noun (plural same or Arawaks)

1A member of a people originally of the Greater Antilles and adjacent South America, now living mainly in Guiana. They were forced out of the Antilles by the more warlike Caribs shortly before Spanish expansion in the Caribbean.
Example sentences
  • By the way, I say Arawak / Taino Indians because I was brought up reading history books which called the native Indians Arawaks.
  • Catholicism on the island dates back to the earliest presence of the Spanish conquistadors, who brought Catholic missionaries to convert native Arawaks to Christianity and train them in Spanish customs and culture.
  • Amerindian groups include the Caribs, the Arawaks, and the Warraus.
2Any of the languages of the Arawak.
Example sentences
  • They called themselves the ‘Taino'. He further suggests that their language was called Arawak.
  • Each of a dozen native groups speaks a different Carib, Arawak, or Warrau dialect.
  • There are still twenty-five surviving indigenous languages belonging to three linguistic families: Caribans, Arawak, and Chibcha.


Relating to the Arawak or their languages.
Example sentences
  • In the Arawak language Carriacou means ‘Land of Reefs‘.
  • Black Carib, also known as Garifuna language, is an amalgam of an Arawak language, African vocabulary, and some English additions.
  • The word comes from the Spanish barbacoa, which in turn had probably come from a similar word in the Arawak language, denoting a structure on which meat could be dried or roasted.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Ar·a·wak

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