[ kwo-droon ]
/ kwɒˈdrun /

noun Older Use: Offensive.

a person having one-fourth black ancestry, with one black grandparent; the offspring of a mulatto and a white person.

Nearby words

  1. quadrivalently,
  2. quadrivia,
  3. quadrivial,
  4. quadrivium,
  5. quadrominium,
  6. quadrophonics,
  7. quadru-,
  8. quadrumane,
  9. quadrumanous,
  10. quadrumvir

Compare octoroon.

Origin of quadroon

1640–50; alteration of Spanish cuarterón, derivative of cuarto fourth < Latin quartus; see -oon

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

British Dictionary definitions for quadroon


/ (kwɒˈdruːn) /


the offspring of a Mulatto and a White person; a person who is one-quarter Black

Word Origin for quadroon

C18: from Spanish cuarterón, from cuarto quarter, from Latin quartus

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 quadroon



1707, "offspring of a white and a mulatto," from Spanish cuarteron (used chiefly of the offspring of a European and a mestizo), literally "one who has a fourth" (Negro blood), from cuarto "fourth," from Latin quartus (see quart), so called because he or she has one quarter African blood. Altered by influence of words in quadr-. There also was some use in 19c. of quintroon (from Spanish quinteron) "one who is fifth in descent from a Negro; one who has one-sixteenth Negro blood."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper