Dictionary.com

nigger

[ nig-er ]
/ ˈnɪg ər /
Save This Word!

The term nigger is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. The senses labeled Extremely Disparaging and Offensive represent meanings that are deeply insulting and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense. It is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed, as in court or in a newspaper editorial: “the N-word .”

noun

Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a Black person.
  2. a contemptuous term used to refer to a member of any dark-skinned people.
See also nigga, N-word.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of any racial or ethnic origin regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant, etc.
Offensive: Now Rare. a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by Black people; a person who is economically, politically, or socially disenfranchised:In his 1987 novel The Commitments, Roddy Doyle wrote, "The Irish are the niggers of Europe."

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!

In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of nigger

First recorded in 1640–50; from French nègre “a Black person,” from Spanish negro “black”; see origin at Negro1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for nigger

nigger
/ (ˈnɪɡə) /

noun offensive, taboo

  1. an offensive term for a Black person
  2. (as modifier)nigger minstrels
an offensive term for a member of any dark-skinned race
nigger in the woodpile old-fashioned, offensive a hidden snag or hindrance
C18: from C16 dialect neeger, from French nègre, from Spanish Negro 1
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
Learn A New Word Right Now!