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powwow

[pou-wou] /ˈpaʊˌwaʊ/
noun
1.
a large gathering organized by North American Indians for socializing, dancing, singing, and celebrating their culture.
2.
a council or conference of or with North American Indians.
3.
(historically, among North American Indians) a ceremony accompanied by spiritual, religious, and ritual practices, along with dancing, performed for the cure of disease, success in a hunt, etc.
4.
(among North American Indians) a priest or shaman.
5.
Informal. any conference or meeting.
verb (used without object)
6.
to hold a powwow.
7.
Informal. to confer.
Origin of powwow
1615-1625
1615-25, Americanism; < Narragansett (E spelling) powwaw Indian priest (and the identical word in Massachusett) < Proto-Algonquian *pawe·wa he dreams (used as a derived agent noun meaning “he who dreams”, i.e., one who derives his power from visions)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for powwow

powwow

/ˈpaʊˌwaʊ/
noun
1.
a talk, conference, or meeting
2.
a magical ceremony of certain North American Indians, usually accompanied by feasting and dancing
3.
(among certain North American Indians) a medicine man
4.
a meeting of or negotiation with North American Indians
verb
5.
(intransitive) to hold a powwow
Word Origin
C17: from Algonquian; related to Natick pauwau one who practises magic, Narraganset powwaw
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 powwow
n.

1620s, "priest, sorcerer," from a southern New England Algonquian language (probably Narragansett) powwaw "shaman, medicine man, Indian priest," from a verb meaning "to use divination, to dream," from Proto-Algonquian *pawe:wa "he dreams, one who dreams." Meaning "magical ceremony among North American Indians" is recorded from 1660s. Sense of "council, conference, meeting" is first recorded 1812. Verb sense of "to confer, discuss" is attested from 1780.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for powwow

powwow

noun

A meeting; discussion: The directors are having a crucial pow-wow

[1625+; ultimately fr an Algonquian word for ''medicine man,'' meaning ''he dreams,'' extended to mean counsel and a council]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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17
18
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