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

  • noun A moist warm wind blowing from the sea in coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest.
  • noun A warm dry wind that descends from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, causing a rapid rise in temperature.
  • noun A Chinook salmon.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A jargon of Indian, French, and English used as a means of communication with the native tribes in British America, and now extensively employed, especially on the northwestern Pacific coast, not only between the whites and the Indians, but also between the Indians of tribes having different languages.
  • noun [l. c] A name given in the extreme northwestern part of the United States to a warm, dry westerly or northerly wind which is felt at intervals, especially on the eastern slopes of the mountains.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Ethnol.) One of a tribe of North American Indians now living in the state of Washington, noted for the custom of flattening their skulls. Chinooks also called Flathead Indians.
  • noun A warm westerly wind from the country of the Chinooks, sometimes experienced on the slope of the Rocky Mountains, in Montana and the adjacent territory.
  • noun A jargon of words from various languages (the largest proportion of which is from that of the Chinooks) generally understood by all the Indian tribes of the northwestern territories of the United States.

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

  • noun Canada, physics, meteorology The descending, warm, dry wind on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. The chinook generally blows from the southwest, but its direction may be modified by topography. When it sets in after a spell of intense cold, the temperature may rise by 20–40°F in 15 minutes due to replacement of a cold air mass with a much warmer air mass in minutes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun pink or white flesh of large Pacific salmon
  • noun large Pacific salmon valued as food; adults die after spawning
  • noun a member of an important North American Indian people who controlled the mouth of the Columbia river; they were organized into settlements rather than tribes
  • noun a Penutian language spoken by the Chinook
  • noun a warm dry wind blowing down the eastern slopes of the Rockies


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

[After the Chinook.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word chinook.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I saw somebody on the internet who thought Chinook was a racial slur for Chinese-Canadians.

    July 24, 2007

  • How funny!

    July 24, 2007

  • Priceless.

    July 24, 2007

  • Also see comment on ice fog.

    November 5, 2007