nigger
Pronunciation
  • (RP) enPR: nĭgʹər, IPA: /ˈnɪɡə(ɹ)/
  • (GA) enPR: nĭgʹər, IPA: /ˈnɪɡɚ/
Noun
  1. (offensive, ethnic slur, vulgar, see nigger#Usage notes|usage notes) A dark-skinned person, especially a person of, or primarily of, Negro descent; a black person.
    • 1884 December 9, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XV, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade) […], London: Chatto & Windus, […], OCLC 458431182 ↗, page 133 ↗:
      It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger—but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither.
  2. (offensive, ethnic slur, vulgar slang) A person of Negro descent who acts in an unapproved manner, usually as an archetypical badass.
  3. (African American Vernacular English) ngd An informal term of address.
  4. (African American Vernacular English) ngd A friend.
  5. (now, offensive) A fish, the luderick (Girella tricuspidata).
  6. (now, offensive, dated) A dark brown butterfly, Orsotriaena medus.
  7. (archaic, electrical) An impurity in the covering of an electrical conductor which serves to make a partial short circuit, and thus becomes sufficiently heated to burn and destroy the insulation.
  8. (UK, Cornwall, fishing, archaic) A kind of sea cucumber, Holothuria forskali, the cotton spinner.
  9. (archaic) The larva of the turnip sawfly, an agricultural pest.
  10. (archaic) A strong iron-bound timber with sharp teeth or spikes protruding from its front face, forming part of the machinery of a sawmill, and used in canting logs, etc.
    • 1918, Leonard L. Shertzer, How to Build and Operate a Sawmill (page 20)
      A sawyer will come along and be touted and recommended as the best in the country when his chief qualifications will be his ability to jerk the carriage back and forth in a hurry without striking the bumper or to turn the log with the nigger […]
  11. (archaic, US) A steam-capstan on some Mississippi river boats, used to haul the boat over bars and snags by a rope fastened to a tree on the bank.
  12. (film, dated) A black screen used in conjunction with the camera to block light or produce special lighting effects.
    • 1961, Peter Snow, Electronic Flashlight Photography (page 114)
      Care should be taken to check visually from the position occupied by the subject and from the camera also, to ascertain that the nigger is positioned correctly and does not obstruct the picture area.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Verb

nigger (niggers, present participle niggering; past and past participle niggered)

  1. (transitive, dated) To clear land by laying light pieces of round timber across the trunks of the trees and setting fire to them at the point of contact, by which means the trees are slowly burned through.
  2. (transitive, dated) To exhaust (soil) by cropping it year by year without manure.
  3. (intransitive, offensive) To behave as a stereotypical black person.
  4. (uncommon, transitive, offensive) To treat as inferior.



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