from The Century Dictionary.

  • To put ashore and leave on a desolate island by way of punishment, as was done by the bucaneers, etc.
  • In the southern United States, to camp out after the manner of the West Indian maroons; make a pleasure-excursion of some duration, with provision for living in camp.
  • noun One of a class of negroes, originally fugitive slaves, living in the wilder parts of Jamaica and Dutch Guiana.
  • noun One who is left on a desolate island as a punishment.
  • Same as feral, 2.
  • Very dark crimson or red. See II., 2.
  • noun A kind of sweet chestnut produced in southern Europe, and known elsewhere as the French or Italian chestnut, having a single kernel and attaining a large size from the fact that the other two seeds of the involucre or bur are abortive. It is largely used for food by the poor in the countries where it is produced.
  • noun A generic name for any pure or crimson red of very low luminosity. The color of a chestnut is yellower.
  • noun In dyeing, a coal-tar coloring matter obtained by purifying the resinous matters formed in the manufacture of magenta.
  • noun In pyrotechnics, a small cubical box of pasteboard filled with gunpowder and wrapped round with two or three layers of strong twine, used to imitate the report of a cannon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun In the West Indies and Guiana, a fugitive slave, or a free negro, living in the mountains.
  • adjective Having the color called maroon. See 4th maroon.
  • adjective lake prepared from madder, and distinguished for its transparency and the depth and durability of its color.
  • noun A brownish or dull red of any description, esp. of a scarlet cast rather than approaching crimson or purple.
  • noun An explosive shell. See Marron, 3.
  • transitive verb To put (a person) ashore on a desolate island or coast and leave him to his fate.
  • transitive verb [Southern U. S.] a social excursion party that sojourns several days on the shore or in some retired place; a prolonged picnic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An escaped negro slave of the Caribbean and the Americas or a descendant of escaped slaves.
  • noun A castaway; a person who has been marooned.
  • adjective Associated with Maroon culture, communities or peoples.
  • verb To abandon in a remote, desolate place, as on a deserted island.
  • noun nautical A rocket fired to summon the crew of a lifeboat.
  • noun slang, derogatory An idiot; a fool.
  • noun A dark red, somewhat brownish, color.
  • adjective Of a maroon color

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

  • noun a person who is stranded (as on an island)
  • verb leave stranded or isolated with little hope of rescue
  • adjective of dark brownish to purplish red
  • noun a dark purplish-red to dark brownish-red color
  • noun an exploding firework used as a warning signal
  • verb leave stranded on a desert island without resources


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Derived from the American-Spanish cimarrón, meaning “fugitive,” “wild”, “untamed”.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French marron ("chestnut; brown").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word maroon.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Maroon the colour is pronounced marone here in Australia. In the US?

    January 15, 2007

  • I pronounce it "muh RUNE."

    January 15, 2007

  • "What a ma-roooooon"

    April 25, 2007

  • The red ship ran into the brown ship and they were all marooned on an island.

    June 17, 2007

  • Interesting word--a color, a synonym for idiot, a verb that means "stranded," and the name for communities of escaped slaves in the colonial Americas.

    October 13, 2007

  • Wow! Look at all the tags you can add! :-)

    October 13, 2007

  • hint, hint

    October 13, 2007

  • Precisely. :-)

    October 13, 2007

  • Wha? *hangs head*

    October 13, 2007

  • Is there a (non-madeupical) word for a word that has multiple distinct meanings? It would make a nice tag for this word, truckle, and a few others.

    October 13, 2007

  • No need to hang your head, jennarenn--I was poking skipvia. :-)

    October 13, 2007

  • HA It's one of those brilliant words you can roll around and say over and over again just to annoy people :D

    September 27, 2008

  • Ma-roooon. Ma-roooooon.

    You're right!

    September 27, 2008

  • I wasn't familiar with the meaning (n): a person who is stranded.

    February 2, 2009

  • Two separate origins: the colour is from French marron "chestnut", as is the firecracker (from the noise a chestnut in the fire makes).

    The "strand" sense is ultimately from Spanish cimarrón "fugitive" (< cima "summit"), with loss of the initial syllable in some language in the chain of borrowing, not clear which.

    May 18, 2009

  • I wasn't familiar with the firecracker meaning either. Dang, this word has whipped me twice within 3 months.

    May 18, 2009

  • Really, bilby? Like, not in pirate stories and such, where they marooned guys who did something... un-piratey? (I was about to say "bad," but isn't that, to a pirate, good?)

    May 18, 2009

  • See also marooning cottage for another meaning.

    October 13, 2009