from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A council or meeting with or of Native Americans.
  • n. A Native American shaman.
  • n. A ceremony conducted by a shaman, as in the performance of healing or hunting rituals.
  • n. Informal A conference or gathering.
  • intransitive v. Informal To hold a powwow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A ritual conducted by a Native American shaman.
  • n. A Native American shaman.
  • n. A Native American council or meeting.
  • n. A short, private conference.
  • v. To hold a meeting; to gather together in council.
  • v. To conduct a ritual in which magic is used.
  • v. To hold a private conference.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A priest, or conjurer, among the North American Indians.
  • n. Conjuration attended with great noise and confusion, and often with feasting, dancing, etc., performed by Indians for the cure of diseases, to procure success in hunting or in war, and for other purposes.
  • n. Any assembly characterized by noise and confusion; a noisy frolic or gathering.
  • n. Any meeting assembled to discuss an issue; a parley.
  • intransitive v. To use conjuration, with noise and confusion, for the cure of disease, etc., as among the North American Indians.
  • intransitive v. To hold a noisy, disorderly meeting.
  • intransitive v. To hold a meeting to discuss an issue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • As applied to the North American aborigines, to perform a ceremony with conjurations for the cure of diseases and for other purposes.
  • Hence To hold a consultation; deliberate over events.
  • To hold any noisy meeting.
  • n. As applied to the North American aborigines: A priest; a conjurer.
  • n. A conjuration performed for the cure of diseases.
  • n. A dance, feast, or other public celebration preliminary to a grand hunt, a council, a war expedition, or some similar undertaking.
  • n. Hence Any uproarious meeting or conference; a meeting where there is more noise than deliberation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. hold a powwow, talk, conference or meeting
  • n. a council of or with Native Americans
  • n. (informal) a quick private conference


Narragansett powwaw, shaman.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From an Algonquian language, probably Massachusett pauwau or Narragansett powwaw "practitioner of magic, shaman", from Proto-Algonquian *pawe:wa (“one who dreams”). (Wiktionary)



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  • See also pow-wow

    February 19, 2008

  • Good grief, that show was hilarious! Almost as amusing as The Avengers.

    August 22, 2007

  • This word reminds me of the old Batman series with Adam West.

    Biff! Kablammy!

    August 22, 2007

  • How do we powwow? Powwow doodle alla day. :o)

    August 22, 2007