Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A Native American dwelling commonly having an arched or conical framework overlaid with bark, hides, or mats.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • The tent or lodge of a North American Indian, generally of a conical shape and formed of bark or mats, or now most often of skins, laid over poles (called lodge-poles) stacked on the ground and converging at the top, where is left an opening for the escape of smoke.
  • A large building; especially, a large structure in which a nominating convention or other political gathering is held.

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

  • noun An Indian cabin or hut, usually of a conical form, and made of a framework of poles covered with hides, bark, or mats; -- called also tepee.

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

  • noun A dwelling having an arched framework overlaid with bark, hides, or mats, used by Native Americans in the northeastern United States.
  • noun Any more or less similar dwelling used by indigenous people in other parts of the world.

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

  • noun a Native American lodge frequently having an oval shape and covered with bark or hides

Etymologies

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

[Eastern Abenaki wìkəwαm, from Proto-Algonquian *wi·kiwa·ˀmi.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Western Abenaki wigwôm or Eastern Abenaki (Penobscot) wigwom (both meaning "house"), from Proto-Algonquian.

Examples

  • She said it with a strange little smile, for now she recognised that the word wigwam was not to be used in her new life.

    The Translation of a Savage, Volume 1

  • She said it with a strange little smile, for now she recognised that the word wigwam was not to be used in her new life.

    The Translation of a Savage, Complete

  • She said it with a strange little smile, for now she recognised that the word wigwam was not to be used in her new life.

    The Project Gutenberg Complete Works of Gilbert Parker

  • "He doesn't know much about it, if he calls a wigwam a wampum," interposed Miss Smith, with still greater pertness.

    A Fair Barbarian

  • Look up and around as you enter its celebrated conical concrete "wigwam" - designed and built within five years from 1962 - and you get drawn into one of 20th-century Britain's grandest colour experiences.

    The Guardian World News

  • Look up and around as you enter its celebrated conical concrete "wigwam" - designed and built within five years from 1962 - and you get drawn into one of 20th-century Britain's grandest colour experiences.

    The Guardian World News

  • The wigwam was a bit bigger than I had imagined and looked comfortable enough, especially since we would have to get up at 4am.

    Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace 2009 #1

  • A wigwam was a round shaped structure made out of bent tree branches that were covered with layers of bark and dried grass.

    History of American Women

  • The leavings of her lord's feast sufficed for her, and the coldest place in the wigwam was her seat.

    A Brief History of the United States

  • A temporary wooden structure, called a wigwam, had been built for the purpose.

    The Life of Abraham Lincoln

Comments

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  • A wigwam or wickiup is a domed single-room dwelling used by certain Native American tribes. The term wickiup is generally used to label these kinds of dwellings in American Southwest and West. Wigwam is usually applied to these structures in the American Northeast. The use of these terms by non-Native Americans is somewhat arbitrary and can refer to many distinct types of Native American structures regardless of location or cultural group including the tipi.

    _Wikipedia

    I know some Native Americans who scoff at the generic use of this word.

    February 4, 2008