also Algonkian, American-Indian people and language family, 1885, an ethnologist's word, from Algonquin, name of one of the tribes, + -ian. Both forms of the name have been used as adjectives and nouns. They originally were spread over a wide area of northeast and north-central North America, from Nova Scotia (Micmac) to Montana (Cheyenne). From 1890 in geology.
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