[ hou-lee, -ley ]


, Sometimes Disparaging.
  1. (among Polynesian Hawaiians) a term used to refer to a non-Polynesian, especially a white person.
  2. (among Hawaiians) a term formerly used to refer to any foreigner.

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Sensitive Note

Haole is usually considered to be a neutral descriptive term. However, it is sometimes used with disparaging intent, arising from a distrust of foreigners or outsiders.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of haole1

1835–45; < Hawaiian: white person, (earlier) foreigner, foreign

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Example Sentences

The defense claims that Elderts used the term “haole”—a derogatory Hawaiian term for white people— before the fight broke out.

Hapa-haole,” was the answer; “he was a half-caste, you know, and we of the Islands have to think about our children.

So it befell at last that he was recommended to a Haole in Beritania Street.

But he did not know it, nor did anybody else guess it except that cursed hapa-haole, Stephen Kaluna.

An anecdote of this transition period is found in a book written by one who styled himself simply Haole (a foreigner).

At the word, the young Haole of Beritania Street reeled against the wall.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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