[ skwaw ]
/ skwɔ /
Older Use: Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a North American Indian woman, especially a wife.
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
- a contemptuous term used to refer to a wife.
- a contemptuous term used to refer to any woman or girl.
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Origin of squaw
First recorded in 1625–35, Americanism; from Massachusett (English spelling) squa, ussqua “woman, younger woman,” from Proto-Algonquian eθkwe·wa (unattested)
usage note for squaw
Origjnally a neutral term, squaw began to be perceived as offensive by the early 20th century and has since declined in use. Part of the reason may be that the word is sometimes mistakenly thought to refer literally to the female genitals.
Words nearby squaw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for squaw
Then, suddenly bethinking himself of a word he'd once heard, he asked: "Isn't an Indian woman called a 'Squaw'?"
"Well, I'll remember and never use the word 'Squaw' again," promised Billy.
British Dictionary definitions for squaw
/ (skwɔː) /
offensive a North American Indian woman
slang, usually facetious a woman or wife
Word Origin for squaw
C17: of Algonquian origin; compare Natick squa female creature
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