Definition of powwow in English:


Line breaks: pow¦wow
Pronunciation: /ˈpaʊwaʊ


1A North American Indian ceremony involving feasting and dancing.
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  • I became obsessed and took part in sweat lodge ceremonies, pipe ceremonies, powwows and other Aboriginal spiritual events.
  • With a special pullout calendar of events, it encourages visitors to spend their tourist dollars by attending ethnic festivals or powwows, to feast on authentic cuisine and purchase artifacts from ethnic vendors.
  • That year, there was a national powwow with dances and ceremonies.
2A conference or meeting for discussion, especially among friends or colleagues.
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  • Due to the divergent stances of the member nations, the annual powwow had difficulty reaching consensus on major international security issues and resolving economic problems.
  • After the crew ties the boats off to the right-hand bank and scouts the rapid, the two put their heads together for a powwow.
  • One minute, he's in a strategic powwow with top executives, in the next, he's peppered with questions from financial news reporters.


[no object] informal Back to top  
Hold a powwow; confer: news squads powwowed nervously
More example sentences
  • He will be powwowing with Fortune 500 executives, foreign leaders, and banking magnates, too.
  • They hung around one night after the shelter closed and powwowed about ‘the three most pressing topics we wanted to raise at the staff meeting,’ she says.
  • In a meeting of altruistic minds at Stanford University last spring, 80 members of the tourism, academic, and NGO worlds powwowed on the subject of global giving.


early 17th century: from Narragansett powah, powwaw 'magician' (literally 'he dreams').

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