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quadroon

[kwo-droon]
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noun Older Use: Offensive.
  1. a person having one-fourth black ancestry, with one black grandparent; the offspring of a mulatto and a white person.
Compare octoroon.

Origin of quadroon

1640–50; alteration of Spanish cuarterón, derivative of cuarto fourth < Latin quartus; see -oon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for quadroon

Historical Examples

  • He turned his glance to the quadroon; she understood it; the patient was seriously ill.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • He was probably regarded as a quadroon who had been accepted by the white race.

  • I saw the Quadroon approach this with silent tread, as if meditating some design.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

  • I was satisfied that the disappearance of the quadroon would be at once attributed to me.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

  • My conversation was with the Creole, my thoughts dwelt upon the Quadroon.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid


British Dictionary definitions for quadroon

quadroon

noun
  1. the offspring of a Mulatto and a White person; a person who is one-quarter Black

Word Origin

C18: from Spanish cuarterón, from cuarto quarter, from Latin quartus
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

Word Origin and History for quadroon

n.

1707, "offspring of a white and a mulatto," from Spanish cuarteron (used chiefly of the offspring of a European and a mestizo), literally "one who has a fourth" (Negro blood), from cuarto "fourth," from Latin quartus (see quart), so called because he or she has one quarter African blood. Altered by influence of words in quadr-. There also was some use in 19c. of quintroon (from Spanish quinteron) "one who is fifth in descent from a Negro; one who has one-sixteenth Negro blood."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper