From Pidgin Delaware Manétto, from Unami manëtu (manətːu) and Munsee manutoow (manə́toːw) (later influenced by French manitou, from Montagnais); from Proto-Algonquian *maneto·wa (“supernatural being”).
manitou (plural manitous)
- A god or spirit as the object of religious awe or ritual among some American Indians.
- 1826, James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans, 1888 p. 319:
- If it were possible to translate the comprehensive and melodious language in which he spoke, the ode might read something like the following: "Manitou! Manitou! Manitou! Thou art great, thou art good, thou art wise: Manitou! Manitou! Thou art just."
- 1987, John A Grim, The Shaman, p. 143:
- Each Ojibway shaman's method of communication with the manitou patron is unique and is related to a personal dream experience.
- 2005, Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road, Penguin 2008, p. 43:
- My father strung it high in a tree for the manitous to watch over.
Sometimes used as a proper noun, in which case it is often capitalized.
- Oxford English Dictionary, Third (online) Edition
manitou m (plural manitous)