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

  • n. Hawaii A white person. See Regional Note at ukulele.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A non-Hawaiian, usually specifically a Caucasian.


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

Hawaiian, foreign, foreigner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Hawaiian haole.


  • Thus the word haole has very negative connotations.


  • Sam Slom, a Bank of Hawaii economist then, who is now a Republican state senator in Hawaii, recalls that as a part of the white - or "haole" - minority in Hawaii, he would regularly see housing ads that made no effort to hide racial preferences.

    Madelyn Dunham; American Mentor

  • [331] Old eds, "haole" -- The construction is not plain without a reference to the original: --

    The Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 3 (of 3)

  • There were native Hawaiians, Japanese, Filipinos, Samoans, Okinawans, Chinese, and Portuguese, along with Anglos, commonly known as haole pronounced “howl-lay” and a smaller population of blacks, traditionally centered at the U.S. military installations.

    Into the Story

  • Rather than concern at being the victim of racism (after all, they were happy for me to play with their grandchild), being called haole in that space seemed simply a means of getting round his inability to grasp my name (not an altogether different reason for my calling him 'uncle').

    Bad Subjects - 76: Race and Culture

  • Instead of the dominant paradigm of ignoring racial difference in the name of equality and discretely shying away from at least the public use of racial categories, white people in Hawai'i are openly identified as haole - a category based both upon skin color and behavior; indeed a local who spends too much time on the mainland risks becoming 'haolefied' 'during their time there.

    Bad Subjects - 76: Race and Culture

  • But I do know that these experiences in both text and body added to and exploded assumptions so deeply held I did not know them until called haole by different people and with radically different meanings.

    Bad Subjects - 76: Race and Culture

  • Nowadays the haole is the number one ethnic group in terms of population.


  • Oh, yes, and I was always told "haole" was not a pejorative term unless there was an adjective in front of the word.

    Maxine Hong Kingston: Obama on O'ahu

  • While on the campaign trail last April, Barack spoke about how his white grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, dealt with race while being a "haole" raising a child with dark skin on Oahu.

    Archive 2008-12-20


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  • Pronounced: "How-leh" in the Hawaiian language, means "foreign" or "foreigner"; it can be used in reference to people, plants, and animals. A common popular etymology claim is that the word is derived from "h�?ʻole", literally meaning "no breath". Some Hawaiians say that because foreigners did not know or use the honi (the Hawaiian word for "kiss"), a Polynesian/Hawaiian greeting by touching nose-to-nose and inhaling or essentially sharing each other's breaths, and so the foreigners were described as "breathless." The implication is not only that foreigners are aloof and ignorant of local ways, but also literally have no spirit or life within. (Wikipedia)

    May 29, 2008