Definition of Inuit in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈin(y)o͞oit/


1 (plural same or Inuits) A member of an indigenous people of northern Canada and parts of Greenland and Alaska.
Example sentences
  • In the United States and Europe, this disorder is most common in Ashkenazi Jews, followed by Hispanics, Yugoslavs, Native American Inuits, and Italians.
  • My background is Inupiaq Eskimo, which is the northern most tribe of Inuits in Alaska.
  • The member of a very rare blood group most often found among Inuits of northern Canada.
2The family of languages of the Inuit, one of the three branches of the Eskimo-Aleut language family. It is also known, especially to its speakers, as Inuktitut.
Example sentences
  • While Aleut is considered a separate language, Eskimo branches into Inuit and Yup'ik.
  • The story about Inuit (or Inuktitut, or Yup'ik, or more generally, Eskimo) words for snow is completely wrong.
  • The infamous Eskimo snow words meme is spread by people who don't know about Inuit or any related language.


Relating to the Inuit or their language.
Example sentences
  • First were short films and then TV shows, which were produced to preserve and enhance Inuit culture and language while providing gainful employment to the community of Igloolik.
  • Jacob Gronlykke's Heart Of Light is the first full-length and epic style feature film shot entirely in the Inuit language.
  • I have suggested that there exists a range of signed languages, including an indigenous signed language, among the Inuit people of Nunavut.


The peoples inhabiting the regions from northwestern Canada to western Greenland speak Inuit languages (Inuit in Canada, Greenlandic in Greenland) and call themselves Inuit (not Eskimo). Inuit has official status in Canada, and is used in the US as a general synonym for Eskimo. This, however, is inaccurate because the Inuit are not among native Alaskans (who speak Inupiaq, or Yupik, which is also spoken in Siberia). Since neither Inupiaq nor Yupik is in common US usage, only Eskimo includes all of these peoples and their languages. See also Eskimo (usage).


Inuit, plural of inuk 'person'.

  • Eskimo from late 16th century:

    The traditional word for the indigenous people inhabiting northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and eastern Siberia is Eskimo. The word is from Native American language Algonquian, and may have originally meant ‘people speaking a different language’. It was formerly thought that the original meaning was ‘person who eats raw meat’ and because this was seen as insulting, the word is now avoided by many. The peoples inhabiting the regions from the Canadian Arctic to western Greenland prefer to call themselves Inuit, first recorded in English in the mid 18th century and the plural of inuk ‘person’. There are comparatively few words in English from the Inuit language. Kayak, which came into English in the 18th century, is one of them, and igloo (mid 19th century) from iglu ‘house’, is the most notable other.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: In·u·it

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