What does Eskimo mean?

Definitions for Eskimo
ˈɛs kəˌmoʊes·ki·mo

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Eskimo.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Eskimo, Esquimau, Inuitnoun

    a member of a people inhabiting the Arctic (northern Canada or Greenland or Alaska or eastern Siberia); the Algonquians called them Eskimo (`eaters of raw flesh') but they call themselves the Inuit (`the people')

  2. Eskimo, Esquimaunoun

    the language spoken by the Eskimo


  1. Eskimonoun

    A member of any of the Eskimo peoples.

  2. Eskimoadjective

    Of or relating to the Eskimo peoples.

  3. Eskimoadjective

    In, of, or relating to the Eskimo languages.

  4. Eskimonoun

    A group of indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic, from Siberia, through Alaska and Northern Canada, to Greenland, including the Inuit and Yupik.

  5. Eskimonoun

    Any of the languages of the Eskimo.

  6. Etymology: First attested 1584; obsolete Esquimawe, from (plural) Esquimaux, from Spanish esquimao, esquimal (used by Basque fishermen in Labrador), from Old ayaškimew, literally, 'snowshoe-netter' (cf. assime·w 'she laces a snowshoe', aškime· 'to net snowshoes'). The name was originally applied by the Innu people to the Mi'kmaq and later transferred to the Labrador Inuit; see usage notes. It was also once thought to mean 'eaters of raw meat', but most authorities now dismiss this.


  1. eskimo

    Eskimo is a term historically used to describe the indigenous peoples who have traditionally inhabited the northern circumpolar region from Eastern Siberia (Russia) to Alaska (United States), Northern Canada, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, and Greenland. The two main groups that are referred to as Eskimo are the Inuit of Northern Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, and the Yupik of Western Alaska, Southcentral Alaska, and the Russian Far East. However, the term "Eskimo" is often considered derogatory because it was given by non-Inuit people and was said to mean "eater of raw meat." Many prefer to be known by their specific group names, such as Inuit or Yupik.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Eskimonoun

    one of a peculiar race inhabiting Arctic America and Greenland. In many respects the Eskimos resemble the Mongolian race

  2. Etymology: [Originally applied by the Algonquins to the Northern Indians, and meaning eaters of raw flesh.]


  1. Eskimo

    Eskimos or Inuit–Yupik peoples are indigenous peoples who have traditionally inhabited the circumpolar region from eastern Siberia, across Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. There are two main groups that are referred to as Eskimo: Yupik and Inupiat. A third group, the Aleut, is related. The Yupik language dialects and cultures in Alaska and eastern Siberia have evolved in place beginning with the original Eskimo culture that developed in Alaska. Approximately 4,000 years ago the Unangan culture became distinctly separate, and evolved into a non-Eskimo culture. Approximately 1,500–2,000 years ago, apparently in Northwestern Alaska, two other distinct variations appeared. The Inuit language branch became distinct and in only several hundred years spread across northern Alaska, Canada and into Greenland. At about the same time, the technology of the Thule people developed in northwestern Alaska and very quickly spread over the entire area occupied by Eskimo people, though it was not necessarily adopted by all of them. The earliest known Eskimo cultures date to 5,000 years ago. They appear to have evolved in Alaska from people using the Arctic small tool tradition. They probably had migrated to Alaska from Siberia at least 2,000 to 3,000 years earlier, though they might have been in Alaska as far back as 10,000 to 12,000 years or more. There are similar artifacts found in Siberia going back perhaps 18,000 years.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Eskimo

    es′ki-mō, n. and adj. one of a nation constituting the aboriginal inhabitants of the whole northern coast of America, and spread over the Arctic islands, Greenland, and the nearest Asiatic coast.—n. Eskimo dog, a half-tamed variety, widely distributed in the Arctic regions, and indispensable for drawing the sledges. [Said by Dr Rink to be from an Indian word=eaters of raw flesh.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Eskimo

    or Esquimaux, an aboriginal people of the Mongolian or American Indian stock, in all not amounting to 40,000, thinly scattered along the northern seaboard of America and Asia and in many of the Arctic islands; their physique, mode of living, religion, and language are of peculiar ethnological interest; they are divided into tribes, each having its own territory, and these tribes in turn are subdivided into small communities, over each of which a chief presides; the social organisation is a simple tribal communism; Christianity has been introduced amongst the Eskimo of South Alaska and in the greater part of Labrador; in other parts the old religion still obtains, called Shamanism, a kind of fetish worship; much of their folk-lore has been gathered and printed; fishing and seal-hunting are their chief employments; they are of good physique, but deplorably unclean in their habits; their name is supposed to be an Indian derivative signifying "eaters of raw meat."

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How to pronounce Eskimo?

How to say Eskimo in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Eskimo in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Eskimo in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of Eskimo in a Sentence

  1. Martine Gosselink:

    For instance, many Dutch people don't understand why Eskimo is an offensive term, but it is, and indigenous people don't like to be called that way, also Lapland [the northern Scandinavian region populated by the Sami people] is an offensive term, but not many people know it.

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"Eskimo." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Eskimo>.

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