Definition of manitou in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmanəˌto͞o/


(Among certain Algonquian Indians) a good or evil spirit as an object of reverence.
Example sentences
  • Illinois men and women interacted with the supreme deity by way of personal spirits called manitous.
  • During this time the manitou or spirits were considered a strong spiritual presence in her life.
  • Bear representations are evident, and several fragments appear to represent Mishipishu, the principal manitou of the Algonquian underworld.


Late 17th century: via French from an Algonquian language.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: man·i·tou

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