One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In Angola: a fortified residence or encampment; (also) the political or military institution associated with this. Now historical.
2In Brazil: a remote settlement originally founded as a refuge by fugitive slaves or their descendants.
Mid 19th century. From Portuguese quilombo fortified residence or encampment, (in Brazil also) remote hiding place of fugitive slaves, fortified settlement founded by fugitive slaves, especially those of African origin and its etymon Kimbundu kilombo refuge for travellers, soldiers' encampment.
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