black·​a·​moor | \ ˈbla-kə-ˌmu̇r How to pronounce blackamoor (audio) \
plural blackamoors

Definition of blackamoor

1 or less commonly Blackamoor : a European style of decorative art in which dark-skinned usually male human figures are depicted in a stylized and ornate form also : an object of decorative art (such as a statue or a piece of jewelry) in this style

Note: Blackamoor art is controversial and is often considered racist.

Today exuberance reigns, the rooms having been infiltrated by antique Egyptian figurines, tomb rubbings, Asian vases, blackamoors, marble busts … , and oil portraits in brightly gilded frames. — Meredith Etherington-Smith often used before another noun The next month, another royal—Princess Michael of Kent—caused controversy after wearing a racist blackamoor brooch to the Queen's yearly Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace. — Julia Arciga As a general rule, the blackamoor figures found on the current market are presented as servant figures bearing light by holding a candle, candelabra or torch, or the figure may be holding up a tabletop or carrying a basket of fruit. — Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson
2 dated, offensive : a dark-skinned person especially : black sense 4a

First Known Use of blackamoor

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for blackamoor

irregular from black + Moor

Learn More About blackamoor

Time Traveler for blackamoor

Time Traveler

The first known use of blackamoor was in 1581

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near blackamoor

black alkali



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for blackamoor

Cite this Entry

“Blackamoor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!