Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


A person having white ancestors except for one black great-grandparent. Used especially as a classification under certain European colonial legal systems and now considered offensive.


(ˌɒktəˈruːn) or


old-fashioned offensive a person having one quadroon and one White parent and therefore having one-eighth Black blood. Compare quadroon
[C19: octo- + -roon as in quadroon]


(ˌɒk təˈrun)

a person having one-eighth black ancestry; the offspring of a quadroon and a white.
[1855–60, Amer.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.octoroon - an offspring of a quadroon and a white parent; a person who is one-eighth black
archaicism, archaism - the use of an archaic expression
mixed-blood - a person whose ancestors belonged to two or more races
References in classic literature ?
They are octoroons and African half-bloods of various shades, but I fear we English think all foreigners are much the same so long as they are dark and dirty.
KNOWN FOR: As associate artistic director of Company One Theatre, Williams says she's best known for productions there of "work that challenges and provokes," including Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's An Octoroon and Jackie Sibblies Drury's We Are Proud to Present.
Fourteen chapters and conclusion are: driving race work; working together; advertising and the commercial spirit; donAEt quit your day job; retooling the kitchen sink; beaten, battered, and brawny; hidden in plain sight; African American waiters and cakewalk contest in Florida East Coast resorts of the Gilded age; Dion BoucicaultAEs The Octoroon and the work of republicanism; myth made manifest; labor, theatre, and the dream of the White City; blue-collar bard; songs of salaried warriors; working on a masterpiece; conclusion: waiting in the wingsuwork.
Part 3, "Myth, Memory, and Manifestation: The Work of the Public Mind," includes: Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix, "Dion Boucicault's The Octoroon and the Work of Republicanism" (139-55); AnnMarie T.
the primitive sex-appeal of the octoroon girl is potent.
Even I was shocked when a colleague only last week described his personal trainer as "a half caste", blissfully unaware that this is a term long since consigned to the banned list along with quadroon and octoroon, Mongol and spastic.
Years later when she visits the dying Father Benjamin, Grace asks if he can tell her anything of Mary, and when she is forced through circumstance to take a job as an administrator in a hospital, she finds herself searching through patient files for any information and finds that her 'heart would skip a beat when the words octoroon or half-caste popped up' (p.
To make Iola Leroy acceptable to a white audience, the black heroine would have to be physically almost white, a mulatto, quadroon, or octoroon.
the octoroon, whose relationship with Charles Bon is deemed sexually taboo by many of the other characters, has a house that is "cloyed" and "scented" and, most importantly, her room itself is described as "impregnated" with smell (158-59).
Set in New Orleans at the "far end of Chartres Street in the Vieux Carre," "Thank You" tracks a group of believers and skeptics who visit a Creole spiritualist, the octoroon Mother DuClos, "a small grizzled woman with a hunched back, robed in white like an angel.
When Charles Bon's octoroon mistress appears at Sutpen's Hundred, the luxury of her person contrasts sharply with Judith's appearance: the octoroon wears "new lace and silk and satin negligees subdued to the mauve and lilac of mourning," her young son out of place with "four names and his sixteenth-part black blood and his expensive esoteric Fauntleroy clothing" (158).
9) The Octoroon is a particularly clear example of Boucicault's transatlanticism, demonstrating his command of differing tastes across the Atlantic, as he rewrote the New York ending to please London audiences.