Definition of Na-Dene in English:

Na-Dene

Pronunciation /ˌnä ˈdānā/ /ˌnɑ ˈdeɪneɪ/ /ˌnä ˈdeˌnē/ /ˌnɑ ˈdɛˌni/

adjective

  • Relating to a postulated phylum of North American languages including the Athabaskan family, Tlingit, and (in some classifications) Haida.

    ‘The Athabaskan language family is one of three families within the Na-Dene language phylum.’
    • ‘Basque may be the remnant language of the Cro-Magnon (who lived 30,000 to 40,000 years ago), which evolved into Caucasian, Sino-Tibetan and Na-Dene (Apache, Navajo, and Athabaskan) languages.’

noun

  • The Na-Dene language group.

Origin

Early 20th century from Tlingit naa ‘tribe’ (related to Haida náa ‘dwell’) + North Athabaskan dene ‘tribe’.