Share this entry
Arawakan Line breaks: Ara|wak¦an
Pronunciation: /ˌarəˈwak(ə)n/

Definition of Arawakan in English:


Denoting or belonging to a widely scattered family of South American Indian languages, most of which are now extinct or nearly so.
Example sentences
  • Fanning out from Hispaniola (modern-day Haiti/Dominican Republic), Spaniards enslaved Arawakan and Taino-speaking ‘Indians ‘for mining and agricultural enterprises.’
  • The group is in the Arawakan linguistic family.
  • This Karinya influence comes as a result of interaction between original speakers of an Arawakan language living in the Lesser Antilles and incoming Karina from South America.


[mass noun] Back to top  
The Arawakan family of languages.
Example sentences
  • Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, the native population spoke languages belonging to at least four major language families: Arawakan, Gê, Carib, and Tupi-Guarani.
  • Rouse suggests that Arawakan and Cariban are more useful designations for these linguistic stocks.
  • The Tupí-Guaraní family of languages is next to the Arawakan in geographical extent.
Definition of Arawakan in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources