In·u·it (ĭn-ĭt, -y-)
1. (used with a pl. verb) The members of various Eskimoan peoples inhabiting the Arctic from northwest Alaska eastward to eastern Greenland, particularly those inhabiting Canada.
a. The family of languages spoken by the Inuit.
b. Any of the languages spoken by the Inuit.
Of or relating to the Inuit or the languages spoken by the Inuit.
[Inuit, pl. of inuk, human being, Eskimo.]
Usage Note: The preferred term for the native peoples of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland is now Inuit, and the use of Eskimo in referring to these peoples is often considered offensive, especially in Canada. Inuit is inappropriate, however, when used in reference to speakers of Yupik, the Eskimoan language branch of southwest Alaska and the Siberian Arctic. See Usage Note at Eskimo.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.