octoroon definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
a person who has one black great-grandparent; child of a quadroon and a white
Origin: octo- plush (quad)roon
octoroon definition by American Heritage Dictionary
A person whose ancestry is one-eighth Black.
Origin: octo- + (quad)roon.Usage Note: The terms mulatto, quadroon, and octoroon originated with the racial policies of European colonizers in the Americas, especially the Spanish. Because civil rights and responsibilities were based directly on the degree of European blood that a person had, such classifications were highly elaborated, and minor distinctions in ancestry were carefully recorded. While these terms have highly precise definitions, in actual practice they were often used based on impressions of skin color rather than definite knowledge of ancestry.