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.

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

Examples from the Web for octoroon

Contemporary Examples of octoroon

Historical Examples of octoroon

  • Nalle is an octoroon; his wife has the same infusion of Caucasian blood.

  • "He was bleeding to death; unless he has care he'll die," said the octoroon woman.

    Among the Pines

    James R. Gilmore

  • Vividly told, with a beautiful Octoroon as the central figure.

  • Until the stranger was close upon the octoroon, I had not seen him.

    Down South

    Oliver Optic

  • The engineer at once relinquished his hold on the octoroon, and stood up.

    Down South

    Oliver Optic

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