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[muh-lat-oh, -lah-toh, myoo-] /məˈlæt oʊ, -ˈlɑ toʊ, myu-/
noun, plural mulattoes, mulattos.
Anthropology. (not in technical use) the offspring of one white parent and one black parent.
Older Use: Offensive. a person who has both black and white ancestors.
of a light-brown color.
Origin of mulatto
1585-95; < Spanish mulato ‘young mule’, equivalent to mul(o) mule1 + -ato of unclear origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mulatto
Historical Examples
  • It was a mulatto, from Martinique, who was Mr. Osgood's steward; and I helped him in.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • In close connection with the preceding is the question of the mulatto.

    The Negro Farmer Carl Kelsey
  • They were all blacks, except the captain, who was a mulatto.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • Steve the mulatto was stretched upon the floor in a deep sleep.

    Hidden Hand

    Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth
  • The voice of the mulatto is at once sweet, vibrant and melancholy.

  • Strickland had downed the mulatto twice, and the mulatto, sober, was a man to be reckoned with.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • The mulatto coachman, with a third horse, was at the door, ready to accompany us.

    Among the Pines

    James R. Gilmore
  • This self-appointed guide was no negro, no mulatto, of that Manuel was sure.

    Plotting in Pirate Seas Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • Rarely will a mulatto girl marry a black man, and vice versa.

  • A mulatto servant-man came into the room where Flora and I were.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for mulatto


noun (pl) -tos, -toes
a person having one Black and one White parent
of a light brown colour
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish mulato young mule, variant of mulomule1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mulatto

1590s, "offspring of a European and a black African," from Spanish or Portuguese mulato "of mixed breed," literally "young mule," from mulo "mule," from Latin mulus (fem. mula) "mule" (see mule (n.1)); possibly in reference to hybrid origin of mules. As an adjective from 1670s. Fem. mulatta is attested from 1620s; mulattress from 1805.

American culture, even in its most rigidly segregated precincts, is patently and irrevocably composite. It is, regardless of all the hysterical protestations of those who would have it otherwise, incontestibly mulatto. Indeed, for all their traditional antagonisms and obvious differences, the so-called black and so-called white people of the United States resemble nobody else in the world so much as they resemble each other. [Albert Murray, "The Omni-Americans: Black Experience & American Culture," 1970]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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