Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Locofoco

play
noun Lo·co·fo·co \ˌlō-kə-ˈfō-(ˌ)kō\

Definition of Locofoco

plural Locofocos

  1. 1 :  a member of a radical group of New York Democrats organized in 1835 in opposition to the regular party organization

  2. 2 :  democrat 2



Did You Know?

Locofoco burned brightest in 19th-cenutry America, where it designated a new type of self-igniting match or cigar capable of being lit by friction on a hard surface. The word is believed to combine the adjective "locomotive" (which was commonly taken to mean "self-propelled," though "loco" actually means "place," not "self," in Latin) and the Italian word for "fire," fuoco. The political meaning of "Locofoco" is a story in itself. In 1835, a group of radical Democrats brought locofoco matches to one of their meetings after hearing that their adversaries were plotting to disrupt the meeting by putting out the gas lights. The room did indeed go black but was soon relit, thus earning the group its name.

Origin of locofoco

locofoco, a kind of friction match, probably from 1locomotive + Italian fuoco, foco fire, from Latin focus hearth


First Known Use: 1835


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Locofoco? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a smart aleck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin oily prompt angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ