or pap·poose

[pa-poos, puh-]


a North American Indian baby or young child.

Origin of papoose

1625–35, Americanism; < Narragansett (E spelling) papoòs baby, or Massachusett (E spelling) pappouse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for papooses

Historical Examples of papooses

  • He hear water-spirits say to Mighty Hand that they have papooses.

    The Fiery Totem

    Argyll Saxby

  • It would gladden the eyes of the pale-faces to see their papooses by another sun?

    The Fiery Totem

    Argyll Saxby

  • Martin had three papooses (as the Indians call the children) by the Strawberry.

    The Settlers in Canada

    Frederick Marryat

  • Russian babies are usually swaddled tightly, like American papooses.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

  • We'll make a lot of those Indians wish that they had stayed at home with their papooses.

    Spacehounds of IPC

    Edward Elmer Smith

British Dictionary definitions for papooses




an American Indian baby or child
a pouchlike bag used for carrying a baby, worn on the back

Word Origin for papoose

C17: from Algonquian papoos
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 papooses



1630s, from Narragansett papoos "child," or a similar New England Algonquian word; said to mean literally "very young."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper