Definition of wigwam in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwɪɡwam/


Image of wigwam
1A dome-shaped hut or tent made by fastening mats, skins, or bark over a framework of poles (as used formerly by some North American Indian peoples).
Example sentences
  • A yurt - also known as a ger - is the Asian equivalent of a North American Indian wigwam.
  • In contrast to white people's extravagant ways, Indian wigwams are of high quality, comfortable, and very cheap to build and maintain.
  • I keep dreaming I'm camping with this gorgeous woman, sometimes in army tents, sometimes in mountain tents, sometimes in wigwams.
1.1A pyramidal framework of poles used to support runner beans, sweet peas, and other climbing plants.
Example sentences
  • Annual climbers such as sweet peas can be supported by a wigwam made from bamboo or by twiggy prunings taken from coloured stemmed dogwoods and other shrubs cut back in March.
  • Large varieties of sweet peas will need a sturdier form of support, either a wigwam or a row of garden stakes.
  • Planted to clamber up bamboo wigwams or trained up and over an arch, runner beans are pretty enough to grow in the flower garden and yellow, carmine splashed shelling beans are highly decorative.


a wigwam for a goose's bridle

Australian informal Used as a reply to an unwanted question: when asked ‘What’s that?,’ she snapped sarcastically: ‘It’s a wigwam for a goose’s bridle!’
Probably an alteration of whim-wham
More example sentences
  • I told Ann that I was making a wigwam for a goose's bridle, a special one to help Dad escape. Really, I was carving a plane.
  • "What are you making?" I said. "A wigwam for a goose's bridle," snarled Barry.
  • "Where you goin'?" he called. "To git a wigwam for a goose's bridle!" yelled Smith insolently.


Early 17th century: from Ojibwa wigwaum, Algonquian wikiwam 'their house'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wig¦wam

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