Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

Uncle Tom

play
noun \-ˈtäm\

Simple Definition of Uncle Tom

  • : a black person who is eager to win the approval of white people and willing to cooperate with them

Full Definition of Uncle Tom

  1. 1 :  a black who is overeager to win the approval of whites (as by obsequious behavior or uncritical acceptance of white values and goals)

  2. 2 :  a member of a low-status group who is overly subservient to or cooperative with authority <the worst floor managers and supervisors by far are women … Some of them are regular Uncle Toms — Jane Fonda>

Uncle Tom·ism play \-ˈtä-ˌmi-zəm\ noun

Origin of uncle tom

Uncle Tom, pious and faithful black slave in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851–52) by Harriet Beecher Stowe


First Known Use: 1922


2

Uncle Tom

verb

Definition of Uncle Tom

Uncle TommedUncle Tom·ming

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to behave like an Uncle Tom



1947

First Known Use of uncle tom

1947


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ