Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun In Algonquian religious belief, a supernatural power that permeates the world, possessed in varying degrees by both spirits and humans.
  • noun A deity or spirit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A god or spirit as the object of religious awe or ritual among some American Indians.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Ojibwa manitoo.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Pidgin Delaware Manétto, from Unami manətːu and Munsee manətoːw (later influenced by French manitou, from Montagnais); from Proto-Algonquian *manetoowa (“supernatural being”).

Examples

  • [1] A manitou is the spirit of an Indian who has been killed.

    Thirty Indian Legends

  • 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."

    Week 22: Fried

  • 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."

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • 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.

    Peter Guber: African Water Rights in DeNile

  • It is up to erstwhile manitou-fighter Harry Erskine to demonstrate that a supernatural force is behind the catastrophe.

    Some unconventional vampire stories (updated) « Skulls in the Stars

  • 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.

    Peter Guber: African Water Rights in DeNile

  • Although Ash didn't hex Nina, her anger has drawn a manitou spirit from the Otherworld, and that spirit has fixated on Nina.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • 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.

    The most dreadful thing

  • Although Ash didn't hex Nina, her anger has drawn a manitou spirit from the Otherworld, and that spirit has fixated on Nina.

    De Lint's Novella Doesn't Pack As Much Punch as A Full-Length Novel

  • 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.

    BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Comments

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  • Manitou is a term used to designate the spirits among many Algonquian groups. It refers to the concept of one aspect of the interconnection and balance of nature/life, similar to the East Asian concept of qi; in simpler terms it can refer to a spirit.

    September 27, 2008

  • Also the name of a pair of islands near one of favorite places on earth.

    September 28, 2008