one-drop rule

[ wuhn-drop-rool ]

  1. U.S. History. a social classification, codified in law in some states during the 20th century, that identifies biracial or multiracial individuals as Black if they have any known Black African ancestry, even from a Black ancestor many generations removed.

Origin of one-drop rule

First recorded in 1920–25 (as one-drop law); from the ideology that “one drop” of Black African blood made a person Black

Words Nearby one-drop rule Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023