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2017 Word of the Year

octoroon

[ok-tuh-roon] /ˌɒk təˈrun/
noun, Older Use: Offensive.
1.
a person having one-eighth black ancestry, with one black great-grandparent; the offspring of a quadroon and a white person.
Origin of octoroon
1855-1860
An Americanism dating back to 1855-60; octo- + (quad)roon
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for octoroon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nalle is an octoroon; his wife has the same infusion of Caucasian blood.

  • "He was bleeding to death; unless he has care he'll die," said the octoroon woman.

    Among the Pines

    James R. Gilmore
  • Vividly told, with a beautiful octoroon as the central figure.

  • Until the stranger was close upon the octoroon, I had not seen him.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • The engineer at once relinquished his hold on the octoroon, and stood up.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • The octoroon struggled to escape, but the mate and Buck held him tight.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • "That's just what I thought," replied the octoroon, who had entirely cooled off.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • There was the fire in Theatre Royal, after the play of the "octoroon."

  • This girl is not the daughter of the octoroon woman, Suzanne.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
British Dictionary definitions for octoroon

octoroon

/ˌɒktəˈruːn/
noun
1.
a person having one quadroon and one White parent and therefore having one-eighth Black blood Compare quadroon
Word Origin
C19: octo- + -roon as in quadroon
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 octoroon
n.

1861, irregular formation from Latin octo "eight" (see eight) + suffix abstracted from quadroon (in which the suffix actually is -oon). Offspring of a quadroon and a white; so called for having one-eighth Negro blood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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