oc·​to·​roon | \ ˌäk-tə-ˈrün How to pronounce octoroon (audio) \

Definition of octoroon

dated, now offensive
: a person of one-eighth black ancestry

Examples of octoroon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 1850 census instructed enumerators: Be particularly careful to distinguish between blacks, mulattoes, quadroons, and octoroons. Jess Mchugh, Fortune, "The U.S. Census Has a Long History of Discrimination," 20 June 2019 As Zoe, the titular octoroon and object of plantation heir George Peyton's affection, Ariel Richardson gives an affecting performance filled with striking silhouette-like poses and raw recitations of prose. Dan Jakes, Chicago Reader, "Definition Theatre’s An Octoroon boldly subverts, in white-, red-, and blackface," 2 Aug. 2017

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

First Known Use of octoroon

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for octoroon

octa- + -roon (as in quadroon)

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Time Traveler for octoroon

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The first known use of octoroon was in 1859

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Cite this Entry

“Octoroon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/octoroon. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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