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

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, now offensive
a : a social get-together
b : a meeting for discussion


powwowed; powwowing; powwows

Definition of powwow (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to hold a powwow

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Examples of powwow in a Sentence

Noun We'll talk about vacation plans at the family powwow. all the departments met for a brief powwow after lunch Verb civic leaders powwowed for hours trying to resolve the issue
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And, as with all powwows, the drum is the central and most important part, bringing life to the circle. Eli Saldana, Teen Vogue, "A Chicago Native American Youth Shares His Experience with Gun Violence," 18 June 2018 In the event, the formerly obscure journalist overshadowed the powwow. The Economist, "What Ivan Golunov’s ordeal reveals about Russia," 13 June 2019 Luck slaps receiver Krishawn Hogan on the shoulder pads and begins making his way onto the field, to the customary postgame powwow at midfield. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "‘This was all so sudden’: The inside story on how Andrew Luck’s retirement news stunned the Bears and Colts fans as it spread across Lucas Oil Stadium," 25 Aug. 2019 Owner Alexandra Lehmann plans to work with Narragansett Indian Tribe (who host a powwow in Charlestown every year, dating back nearly 350 years) as well as with the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter to bring two books about the Narragansett back into print. Nina Maclaughlin, BostonGlobe.com, "A battlefield of letters, a pair of new bookstores, and myth connections from a beloved poet," 22 Aug. 2019 The division’s Chief Executive David Joyce had some good news at the biennial industry powwow this week. Lauren Silva Laughlin, WSJ, "Aviation Turbulence Is Another Big Risk for GE," 18 June 2019 Today, the powwow that accompanies the Celilo First Salmon ceremony, usually held in mid-April at the village longhouse, is open to the public, with a salmon picnic to follow. Corey Arnold, National Geographic, "Why wild salmon remains king in the Pacific Northwest," 27 Mar. 2019 Tony has his own reasons for attending the powwow, ones that take the story in a direction that is as contemporary, tragic, and American as a breaking news alert. Joan Gaylord, The Christian Science Monitor, "'There There' weaves a powerful tale of contemporary urban Native Americans," 2 July 2018 Next step for self-care within the 9-to-5 grind at 1 World Trade Center: crystal eye masks and powwows with Jimmy Fallon on the phone. Vogue, "Comedian Ken Jeong Interns in Vogue’s Beauty Closet, Discovers the Power of Sheet Masks," 18 Dec. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The two powwowed at a Los Angeles hotel one evening while the vice president was in the state for a fundraising swing. Elizabeth Landers, CNN, "Vice President Mike Pence met with Elon Musk, source says," 3 Nov. 2017 And the company is powwowing with Hollywood execs about bundling original shows, and possibly movies, with its Apple Music Service. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Apple reportedly wading into the streaming video business," 13 Jan. 2017

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

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First Known Use of powwow


1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1642, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for powwow


Narragansett powwaw or Massachusett pauwau

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Learn More about powwow

Statistics for powwow

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for powwow

The first known use of powwow was in 1624

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More Definitions for powwow


How to pronounce powwow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of powwow

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


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

Kids Definition of powwow

1 : an American Indian ceremony or social gathering
2 : a meeting for discussion

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More from Merriam-Webster on powwow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for powwow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with powwow

Spanish Central: Translation of powwow

Nglish: Translation of powwow for Spanish Speakers

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concealed or difficult to comprehend

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