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

  • transitive v. To put ashore on a deserted island or coast and intentionally abandon.
  • transitive v. To abandon or isolate with little hope of ready rescue or escape: The travelers were marooned by the blizzard.
  • n. A fugitive Black slave in the West Indies in the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • n. A descendant of such a slave.
  • n. A person who is marooned, as on an island.
  • n. A dark reddish brown to dark purplish red.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the color called maroon. See 4th maroon.
  • n. In the West Indies and Guiana, a fugitive slave, or a free negro, living in the mountains.
  • n. A brownish or dull red of any description, esp. of a scarlet cast rather than approaching crimson or purple.
  • n. An explosive shell. See Marron, 3.
  • transitive v. To put (a person) ashore on a desolate island or coast and leave him to his fate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Very dark crimson or red. See II., 2.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A generic name for any pure or crimson red of very low luminosity. The color of a chestnut is yellower.
  • n. In dyeing, a coal-tar coloring matter obtained by purifying the resinous matters formed in the manufacture of magenta.
  • n. 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.
  • n. One of a class of negroes, originally fugitive slaves, living in the wilder parts of Jamaica and Dutch Guiana.
  • n. One who is left on a desolate island as a punishment.
  • n.
  • Same as feral, 2.
  • 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.

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

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


From French marron, fugitive slave, from American Spanish cimarrón, wild, runaway, perhaps from cima, summit (from runaways' fleeing to the mountains), from Latin cȳma, sprout; see cyma.
French marron, chestnut, from Italian marrone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Derived from the American-Spanish cimarrón, meaning “fugitive,” “wild”, “untamed”. (Wiktionary)
French marron ("chestnut; brown"). (Wiktionary)
Unknown (Wiktionary)
From an intentional mispronunciation of the word moron used by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny. (Wiktionary)



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  • See also marooning cottage for another meaning.

    October 13, 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

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

    May 18, 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 meaning (n): a person who is stranded.

    February 2, 2009

  • Ma-roooon. Ma-roooooon.

    You're right!

    September 27, 2008

  • 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

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

    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

  • Wha? *hangs head*

    October 13, 2007

  • Precisely. :-)

    October 13, 2007

  • hint, hint

    October 13, 2007

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

    October 13, 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

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

    June 17, 2007

  • "What a ma-roooooon"

    April 25, 2007

  • I pronounce it "muh RUNE."

    January 15, 2007

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

    January 15, 2007