noun Older Use: Offensive.

a person having one-eighth black ancestry, with one black great-grandparent; the offspring of a quadroon and a white person.

Nearby words

  1. octomerous,
  2. octometer,
  3. octonary,
  4. octopod,
  5. octopus,
  6. octosyllabic,
  7. octosyllable,
  8. octroi,
  9. octuple,
  10. octuplet

Origin of octoroon

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60; octo- + (quad)roon

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for octoroon




a person having one quadroon and one White parent and therefore having one-eighth Black bloodCompare quadroon

Word Origin for octoroon

C19: octo- + -roon as in quadroon

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 octoroon



1861, irregular formation from Latin octo "eight" (see eight) + suffix abstracted from quadroon (in which the suffix actually is -oon). Offspring of a quadroon and a white; so called for having one-eighth Negro blood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper