powwow

noun
pow·​wow | \ ˈpau̇-ˌwau̇ How to pronounce powwow (audio) \
plural powwows

Definition of powwow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an American Indian medicine man
2a : an American Indian ceremony (as for victory in war)
b : an American Indian social gathering or fair usually including competitive dancing
3 informal + offensive, see usage paragraph below
a : a social get-together
b : a meeting for discussion

powwow

verb
powwowed; powwowing; powwows

Definition of powwow (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to hold a powwow

Note: Use of this term in contexts not relating to Indigenous Americans or their cultures is considered offensive.

Usage of Powwow

Noun

Use of the word powwow to refer generally to a social get-together or to a meeting for discussion is considered to be an offensive appropriation of a term of great cultural importance to Indigenous Americans.

First Known Use of powwow

Noun

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for powwow

Noun

Narragansett powwaw or Massachusett pauwau

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powwow

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Cite this Entry

“Powwow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powwow. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for powwow

powwow

noun
pow·​wow | \ ˈpau̇-ˌwau̇ How to pronounce powwow (audio) \

Kids Definition of powwow

1 : a ceremony or usually large social gathering held by tribes of indigenous people of North America
2 : a meeting for discussion

More from Merriam-Webster on powwow

Nglish: Translation of powwow for Spanish Speakers

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