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 (ăr′ə-wä′kən, -wăk′ən)
n. pl. Arawakan or Ar·a·wa·kans
1. A member of a widespread group of Indian peoples living in an area of South America that includes parts of Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana, the Amazon basin of Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, and formerly most of the Greater Antilles.
2. A large language family of South and Central America, including Taíno, many other living and extinct languages of South America spoken by Arawakan peoples, and Garifuna.

Ar′a·wa′kan adj.


(Languages) a family of American Indian languages found throughout NE South America
(Peoples) of or relating to the peoples speaking these languages


(ˌær əˈwɑ kən, -ˈwæk ən)

1. a family of American Indian languages spoken or formerly spoken in widely scattered areas of tropical lowland South America, from N Colombia to Bolivia, and formerly spoken in the Antilles and the Bahamas.
2. of or pertaining to Arawakan or its speakers.
3. of or pertaining to the Arawaks.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Arawakan - a member of a widespread group of Amerindians living in northeastern South AmericaArawakan - a member of a widespread group of Amerindians living in northeastern South America
Amerindian, Native American - any member of the peoples living in North or South America before the Europeans arrived
2.Arawakan - a family of South American Indian languages spoken in northeastern South America
American-Indian language, Amerind, Amerindian language, American Indian, Indian - any of the languages spoken by Amerindians
Adj.1.Arawakan - of or relating to the peoples who speak the language of the Arawak
References in periodicals archive ?
The prevalence of C amongst the Wayuu may also support the notion that they share genetic affinity with other indigenous groups from the Amazonian region, where haplogroup C likewise predominates and in (or near) which the Arawakan languages are thought to have originated (Aikhenvald 1999, 2006; Walker & Ribeiro 2011).
frequent use of topicalizers, serialization, copular constructions, and TMA system)--to similar linguistic features in North Arawakan languages.
Arawakan languages continued to spread southward along the Purus and Madeira rivers to the lowlands of Peru and Bolivia where Arawak-speaking groups with their characteristic cultural emphasis on river navigation, trade and agriculture established themselves as middlemen in the trade between the lowlands and the Andean highlands.