- a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.
- a contemptuous term used to refer to any dark-skinned person.
Origin of blackamoor
First recorded in 1540–50; unexplained variant of phrase black Moor
So-called blackamoors, or black Moors, were originally black people from North Africa who worked as servants and slaves in wealthy European households. The negative connotation of the term comes from its historical association with servitude and from the perception that black Moors were strangely exotic. In 1596, Queen Elizabeth I targeted them for deportation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for blackamoor
Six years, and you have turned from a white-skinned Irishman into a blackamoor!Paddy Finn
W. H. G. Kingston
“But somebody did try to wash a blackamoor white,” said Bob.Middy and Ensign
G. Manville Fenn
They think it a beauty, and say white teeth are the sign of a blackamoor.Devereux, Complete
But it is mere waste of soap to attempt to wash a blackamoor white.Faustus
Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger
He is a blackamoor, and derives his extraction from the spice lands.The Book of Christmas
Thomas K. Hervey
- archaic a Black African or other person with dark skin
C16: see Black, Moor
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 blackamoor
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper