or jim-crow

[ jim-kroh ]
/ ˈdʒɪmˈkroʊ /


favoring or supporting Jim Crow.
for black people only: a Jim-Crow school.



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Definition for jim-crow (2 of 2)

Jim Crow

or jim crow


a practice or policy of segregating or discriminating against black people, as in public places, public vehicles, or employment.
Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.

Origin of Jim Crow

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40; so called from the name of a song sung by Thomas Rice (1808–60) in a minstrel show
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for jim-crow

  • His jim-crow freight outfit didn't cut much of a figure in their track schedules.

    Held for Orders|Frank H. Spearman
  • Accustomed to the jim-crow coach, the Pullman with its comfortable bed, its luxurious dining-car, was a revelation.

    The Shadow|Mary White Ovington
  • This is the meaning of the Southern movement for segregating the races, of its jim-crow car laws and waiting-rooms.

    The Ultimate Criminal|Archibald H. Grimke

British Dictionary definitions for jim-crow

jim crow
/ (ˈdʒɪm ˈkrəʊ) /

noun (often capitals) US

  1. the policy or practice of segregating Black people
  2. (as modifier)jim-crow laws
  1. a derogatory term for a Black person
  2. (as modifier)a jim-crow saloon
an implement for bending iron bars or rails
a crowbar fitted with a claw

Derived forms of jim crow

jim-crowism, noun

Word Origin for jim crow

C19: from Jim Crow, name of song used as the basis of an act by Thomas Rice (1808–60), American entertainer
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

Cultural definitions for jim-crow

Jim Crow

A descriptive term for the segregation of institutions, businesses, hotels, restaurants, and the like. It also refers to the laws that required racial segregation.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.