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

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 However, Donald Trump and the Republicans didn’t score on the social media leader boards with their pre-election powwow. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Bette Midler, John Legend, Richard Marx & More Weigh In as Dramatic Events Unfold Across U.S.," 27 Aug. 2020 The four games after the coach-player powwow produced a version of Darnold that made every Jets fan giddy. Manish Mehta, courant.com, "Pressure is on Jets coach Adam Gase to turn quarterback Sam Darnold into a star in 2020," 6 Aug. 2020 Businesses owned by tribal members have suffered severe financial losses, and the cancellation of gatherings like North American Indian Days — an annual parade, rodeo and powwow celebrating native traditions — have taken an emotional toll. Kathleen Mclaughlin, Washington Post, "A closed border, pandemic-weary tourists and a big bottleneck at Glacier National Park," 11 July 2020 It was themed around the question of exactly how businesses and the economy would reopen, and members of the press were invited to attend only the first 15 minutes of the powwow. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Salesforce will reopen in Seoul with Disney-style ticketing for the elevators," 7 May 2020 Hundreds attended the powwow, which was introduced last year by Native PFLAG and was the first of its kind in Arizona. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "'It's just easier to tell your truth and to dance your truth': 2nd annual Two Spirit Powwow in Phoenix a haven for Native LGBTQ community," 29 Feb. 2020 At most powwows, the various dance categories are divided by male and female. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "'It's just easier to tell your truth and to dance your truth': 2nd annual Two Spirit Powwow in Phoenix a haven for Native LGBTQ community," 29 Feb. 2020 Sanders, a Vermont senator, entered the powwow grounds in a procession of tribal leaders, led by a group of Comanche women dancers in traditional dress. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sanders addresses Comanche event in Warren’s home state," 22 Sep. 2019 Malaysia’s central bank is working on a similar taxonomy with the World Bank, and in September hosted a powwow on climate change. The Economist, "Carbon capture Central bankers debate tackling climate change," 12 Dec. 2019 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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Time Traveler for powwow

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The first known use of powwow was in 1624

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Powwow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powwow. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on powwow

Nglish: Translation of powwow for Spanish Speakers

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