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squaw Syllabification: squaw

Definition of squaw in English:


1An American Indian woman or wife.
Example sentences
  • He had been charmed by a Creek squaw, wife of a Red Stick warrior, and emerged from this intrigue with a thrashing that had left him unconscious and his trading post a heap of ashes.
  • In 1799, when John Park built the first house in the Indiana County locale that became Marion Center, several area men, five Seneca Indians, a squaw and a papoose were at the ‘raising.’
  • Clint Eastwood spoofed his man-with-no-name persona in The Outlaw Josey Wales, as the silent loner acquires an aged Indian, a squaw, a dog, an old woman, her grand-daughter and countless other hangers-on as well.
1.1North American offensive A woman or wife.
Example sentences
  • We have become the loving but unregarded wife, the doormat, the squaw, the skivvy.
  • She was strange-looking, too, willowy but hip, a Scandinavian squaw with flaxen hair and big teeth and Cubist cheekbones.
  • In the back were his squaw and three little blond-haired children.


Until relatively recently, the word squaw, derived from an Algonquian language, was used neutrally in anthropological and other contexts to mean ‘an American Indian woman or wife.’ With changes in the political climate in the second half of the 20th century, however, the derogatory attitudes of the past toward American Indian women have meant that the word cannot now be used in any sense without being offensive.


Mid 17th century: from Narragansett squaws 'woman', with related forms in many Algonquian dialects.

Words that rhyme with squaw

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