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See also: Maroon



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  • IPA(key): /məˈɹuːn/, /məˈɹəʊn/, /məˈɹəʉn/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ma‧roon
  • Rhymes: -uːn, -əʊn

Etymology 1Edit

From French (adjective) marron (feral; fugitive), from Spanish cimarrón (fugitive, wild, feral).


maroon (plural maroons)

  1. An escaped negro slave of the Caribbean and the Americas or a descendant of escaped slaves. [from 17th c.]
    • 1985, Wade Davis, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Simon & Schuster, p. 193:
      Further north a Maroon community in the Bahoruco Mountains thrived for eighty-five years, until the French proposed a truce under the terms of which the Maroons would be permitted to form an independent clan.
    • 2007, Kevin Filan, The Haitian Vodou Handbook, Destiny Books 2007, p. 14:
      Joining others who had escaped before them, they formed communities of Maroons in which many traditional African customs and social mores were preserved.
  2. A castaway; a person who has been marooned. [from 19th c.]


maroon (not comparable)

  1. Associated with Maroon culture, communities or peoples.


maroon (third-person singular simple present maroons, present participle marooning, simple past and past participle marooned)

  1. To abandon in a remote, desolate place, as on a deserted island.
Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit

Etymology 2Edit

French marron (chestnut; brown).


maroon (plural maroons)

  1. A dark red, somewhat brownish, color.
    maroon colour:  


maroon (comparative more maroon, superlative most maroon)

  1. Of a maroon color

See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit



maroon (plural maroons)

  1. (nautical) A rocket-propelled firework or skyrocket, often one used as a signal (e.g. to summon the crew of a lifeboat or warn of an air raid).
    • 1887, “Metropolitan Reports,” The Chemist and Druggist, 5 November, 1887, p. 564,[1]
      On Sunday afternoon a serious firework explosion occurred in Lambeth, whereby three persons were seriously injured. Two lads [] purchased a firework called a “maroon”, which is a bomb consisting of a small ball of string covered with a red composition. It is loaded with gunpowder, and there is also a fuse attached.
    • 1891, William Archer (translator), “At the Fair” in Tales of Two Countries by Alexander Kielland, New York: Harper, p. 73,[2]
      As the evening falls, colored lamps and Chinese lanterns are lighted around the venerable oak which stands in the middle of the fairground and boys climb about among its topmost branches with maroons and Bengal lights.
    • 1900, Alan C. Jenkins, Introducing Horses, London: Spring Books,[3]
      Many a seaman’s life may have depended on equine speed and strength. Some of these ‘Lifeboat Horses’ used to recognise the maroon which was fired to summon the Lifeboat crew. Long after its retirement one of the horses which regularly helped to haul the Hoylake Lifeboat heard a maroon fired one day when it was working in the neighbouring fields. It immediately became very excited and made for the boathouse.
    • 1932, George Bernard Shaw, Too True to Be Good, Act II,[4]
      And now I am off to inspect stores. There is a shortage of maroons that I don’t understand.
    • 1933, H. G. Wells, The Shape of Things to Come, Book 2, Chapter 9,[5]
      The big air raids [] were much more dreadful than the air raids of the World War. They began with a nightmare of warning maroons, sirens, hooters and the shrill whistles of cyclist scouts, then swarms of frantic people running to and fro []

Etymology 4Edit

From an intentional mispronunciation of the word moron used by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny.


maroon (plural maroons)

  1. (slang, derogatory) An idiot; a fool.
    • 2011, S. Watts Taylor, Tarnish, iUniverse (2011), →ISBN, page 21:
      At least, I would not be sleeping that night. Why did I have that espresso? What a maroon!