Noot·ka (ntkə, nt-)
n. pl. Nootka or Noot·kas
1. A member of a Native American people inhabiting Vancouver Island in British Columbia and Cape Flattery in northwest Washington.
2. The Wakashan language of the Nootka. In both senses also called Nuu-Chah-Nulth.
[Nootka nuutkaa, circling around (directions given by the Nootka as James Cook brought his ship close to shore when he reached Nootka Sound in 1778 and taken by him as the name of their people).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.