noun, plural Ai·nus, (especially collectively) Ai·nu.

  1. a member of an aboriginal population of northernmost Japan, having lighter skin and hairier bodies than other Japanese.
  2. the language of the Ainus.


  1. plural -nus or -nu a member of the aboriginal people of Japan, now mostly intermixed with Mongoloid immigrants whose skin colour is more yellowish
  2. the language of this people, sometimes tentatively associated with Altaic, still spoken in parts of Hokkaido and elsewhere

people native to northern Japan and far eastern Russia, 1819, from the Ainu self-designation, literally “man, human.” Once considered to be Caucasian, based on their appearance; but DNA testing has disproven this. Their language is an isolate with no known relatives.

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