American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. In Algonquian religious belief, a supernatural power that permeates the world, possessed in varying degrees by both spiritual and human beings.
- n. A deity or spirit.
- From Pidgin Delaware Manétto, from Unami manətːu and Munsee manətoːw (later influenced by French manitou, from Montagnais); from Proto-Algonquian *manetoowa (“supernatural being”). (Wiktionary)
- French, from Ojibwa manitoo. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“ A manitou is the spirit of an Indian who has been killed.”
“As for the Manitou Stone--it's probably not this one--"Manitou stones" are in fact a generic name for certain kinds of headstones in New England; as this page puts it, "manitou" is "a word used by the Algonquin speaking peoples of New England to mean 'spirit,' as in having spiritual power.”
“It is up to erstwhile manitou-fighter Harry Erskine to demonstrate that a supernatural force is behind the catastrophe.”
“The day before our raft trip we stood before the immense manitou of the Blue Nile Falls, watching the water spout and bloom like gargantuan brown mushrooms and the mist shape and move like a time-lapse sequence of clouds.”
“Although Ash didn't hex Nina, her anger has drawn a manitou spirit from the Otherworld, and that spirit has fixated on Nina.”
“In the book, she was a manitou - but three years out from the black suit with brown shoes that was William Girdler's THE MANITOU 1978, no major studio was going to go anywhere near that classification.”
“CVV had a Camelbak on notice the manitou sized hump on his back, a la Bobby Julich That is why you didn't see him reach for a bottle.”
“A great noble of the Iroquois nation" wouldn't have called on "manitou, the great spirit in things"; he'd have called it "orenda.”
“The squaws and the children fled into the woods, shrieking that it was a manitou (spirit) armed with thunder and lightning.”
“I was a manitou; I had been sent to lead the Indians back to the supremacy that they had almost lost.”
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Words derived from the innumerable languages of native Americans and the First Nations of Canada. I want to shine some light on this underexposed etymological background to so many common (and som...
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