bar·​ra·​coon | \ ˌber-ə-ˈkün How to pronounce barracoon (audio) , ˌba-rə-\

Definition of barracoon

: an enclosure or barracks formerly used for temporary confinement of slaves or convicts often used in plural

Examples of barracoon in a Sentence

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Lewis was captured and held for weeks in the barracoons of Ouidah, near the Bight of Benin. Emily Bernard, The New Republic, "Zora Neale Hurston’s drive to tell the story of the slave trade’s last survivor," 19 June 2018 With Kossola guiding the way through his story, Hurston transcribed tales of his childhood in Dahomey (now Benin), his capture at 19, his time in a barracoon, his dehumanizing arrival, and five years of enslavement in Alabama. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon’ Tells the Story of the Slave Trade’s Last Survivor," 2 May 2018 After eight days of discussion, Foster traded his rum and gold for more than a hundred slaves from the barracoons, as the holding pens were called. Casey N. Cep, The New Yorker, "Zora Neale Hurston’s Story of a Former Slave Finally Comes to Print," 7 May 2018 Douglas again escorted them to a barracoon on St. Louis Alley in Chinatown, where they were distributed to the companies that had ordered them. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "How early SF police delivered sex slaves to the brothels of Chinatown," 19 Jan. 2018 After being shipped to San Francisco, these young women and girls were taken to a barracoon — a temporary holding pen — on St. Louis Alley in Chinatown. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "Shame of the city: When Chinese sex slaves were trafficked in SF," 5 Jan. 2018 He was taken to the coastal town of Ouidah where he was forced into a barracoon—a pen where African slaves were imprisoned until they were sold to traders. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Zora Neale Hurston’s Study of the Last Known U.S. Slave to Be Published in 2018," 21 Dec. 2017 Lewis, whose African name was Oluale Kossola, was kept in a barracoon—a type of slave pen—for three months before he was forced to sail with 109 other people in the cargo hold of a ship called Clotilda. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Zora Neale Hurston On The Last Survivor of the Last Slave Ship," 20 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barracoon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barracoon

1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for barracoon

Spanish barracón, augmentative of barraca hut, from Catalan

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barracks bag





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The first known use of barracoon was in 1817

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