Definition of Araucanian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌerôˈkānēən/


1A member of a group of South American Indian peoples of Chile and adjacent parts of Argentina, of which the only people that has a surviving cultural identity is the Mapuche.
Example sentences
  • There are still a few Mapuche reservations in Argentina, particularly on the shores of Lake Rucachoroi and Lake Quillén. However, most Mapuche Araucanians today continue to live in Chile.
  • They take their name from the language of the Araucanians, the Mapuche of Chile (the people of the land) - the only indigenous people not conquered by either the Spanish or the Incas before them who live in the southern part of Chile.
  • At the time of the first Spanish contact in 1536 the dominant Indian group, the Araucanians, were theoretically subject to the INCA empire, but in practice they retained considerable independence within the Inca realm.
2The family of languages spoken by the Araucanians.
Example sentences
  • In the Andes, Aymara has about 800000 speakers, and in Chile, Araucanian has about 200000.
  • The vowel i is common in South America, occurring in Araucanian, Guaraní, Guaymí (Chibchan), the Panoan and Tucanoan families, and elsewhere.
  • Dual number is found in Eskimo and in the Athabascan, Siouan, Iroquoian, Muskogean, and Plateau Shoshoni groups in North America, and Araucanian and others in South America.


Relating to the Araucanians or their language. See also Mapuche.
Example sentences
  • A type of poetic singing in the Araucanian language includes the reciting of legends, special invocations and prayers, and stories associated with the forces of life and death.
  • On the other hand, Chileans are also proud of descending from the brave and indomitable Araucanian Indians.
  • In the initiation ceremonies of the Araucanian shamanesses, for example, initiates were brought into a sacred circle of healers by having their bodies rubbed with canelo leaves and massaged repeatedly over breasts, bellies, and heads.


From Spanish Araucania, a region in Chile, + -an.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Ar·au·ca·ni·an

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