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

  • n. Any of a breed of powerful dog developed in Alaska as a sled dog and having a thick gray, black, or white coat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A ancient northern breed of dog of the husky type, particularly used as a sled dog.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A local name for the Eskimo dog, apparently used in Alaska.

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

  • n. breed of sled dog developed in Alaska


Short for malamute dog, from Inupiaq Malimiut, name of a subgroup of the Inupiaq.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
So called because the dogs were bred by the Mahlemuit (from Inupiak malimiut), a people of western Alaska. (Wiktionary)



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  • Maybe they're adhering more closely to the name of the tribe that originally raised the dogs?

    October 14, 2007

  • Interestingly, this is always spelled "malemute" in print sources in Alaska. It's the mascot of one of our local high schools and the name of a popular saloon. It also appears as malemute in many place names around the state. I don't believe I have ever seen it spelled "malamute" up here.

    October 14, 2007

  • a.k.a. Alaskan malamute. "The malamute is a Nordic dog, descended from the Arctic wolf. Its name comes from Mahlemuts, an Alaskan tribe that raised and cared for these beautiful snow dogs.... The malamute is a sled dog." (Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs, 1980)

    February 21, 2007