Definition of Jim Crow in English:

Jim Crow


  • 1[mass noun] The former practice of segregating black people in the US.

    ‘eventually Jim Crow was abolished on interstate carriers’
    [as modifier] ‘Jim Crow laws’
    • ‘They are the type of laws that supported slavery, bringing about the creation of an Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the type of laws that sustained a Jim Crow era of segregation.’
    • ‘What Jackson did was an act of protest, not unlike what Rosa Parks committed when she refused to give in to a Jim Crow law.’
    • ‘Pilgrim is curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich.’
    • ‘Soon after Jerry disappeared, she shook the red dust of south Georgia from her shoes, gathered her brood about her and climbed aboard a Jim Crow train.’
    • ‘Readers also will learn that black success in a Jim Crow society was necessarily grounded in betrayal of the community.’
    • ‘By 1913, just as there was for schools, housing, public transportation, there was a Jim Crow section for black Civil War memory.’
    • ‘I recall wondering if the Sons of the Confederacy or some such organization might summon up similar chutzpah to package a Jim Crow tour of the Old South.’
    • ‘When this war comes to an end, will you herd me in a Jim Crow car like cattle?’
    1. 1.1offensive [count noun]A black person.
  • 2An implement for straightening iron bars or bending rails by screw pressure.


Mid 19th century: the name of a black character in a 19th-century plantation song.


Jim Crow