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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About powwow

Statistics for powwow

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Powwow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powwow. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for powwow

powwow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of powwow

: a social gathering of Native Americans that usually includes dancing
informal : a meeting for people to discuss something

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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