pa·​poose | \ pa-ˈpüs How to pronounce papoose (audio) , pə- \
plural papooses

Definition of papoose

1 dated, offensive, see usage paragraph below : an Indigenous baby or young child of North America
2 chiefly British, sometimes offensive, see usage paragraph below : a baby carrier (see baby carrier sense 1) that usually consists of a cloth pouch, wrap, or sling for wearing around the torso She carried her three-month-old tot Apollo in a leopard print papoose, while wearing an all-black ensemble.— Rebecca Davison The star gave birth to a daughter … and clearly dotes on the newborn, carrying her around New York in a furry papoose.— Tamara Abraham

Usage of Papoose

The use of papoose in the meaning shown above at sense 1 is regarded as offensive. While use of the term to refer to a style of baby carrier is common, especially in British English, this use is also sometimes regarded as offensive due to its association with sense 1.

First Known Use of papoose

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for papoose

Narragansett papoòs

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Time Traveler for papoose

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The first known use of papoose was in 1634

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Dictionary Entries Near papoose



papoose board

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Cite this Entry

“Papoose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on papoose

Nglish: Translation of papoose for Spanish Speakers


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