Definition of Creole in US English:

Creole

(also creole)

noun

  • 1A person of mixed European and black descent, especially in the Caribbean.

    • ‘Black Creoles and Garifunas, the descendants of Caribbean slaves, mix with Miskito, Rama, and Sumu Indians, who have lived on the land for hundreds of years.’
    • ‘Just to hear St. Lucians relax in their Creole is a real treat for first time visitors.’
    • ‘It is the native tongue of the Creoles, blacks who came from Jamaica and other islands colonized by the British.’
    • ‘The Creoles, the black people of the Caribbean region, are the descendants of colonial-era slaves, Jamaican merchants, and West Indian laborers.’
    • ‘Free Creoles were of mixed African and European descent.’
    • ‘Like many Caribbean Creoles, Papiamento is odd and surprising.’
    1. 1.1 A descendant of Spanish or other European settlers in the Caribbean or Central or South America.
      • ‘The urban elite is primarily Creole, mostly of Spanish descent.’
      • ‘At the same time, certain ideas about relationships to the natural environment were a part of the racial formation of Belizean Creoles.’
      • ‘Despite this racial discourse, rural Belizean Creoles developed alternative systems of natural resource use based in part upon small-scale agricultural production.’
      • ‘The Republic of Panama is a former Spanish colony in Central America with a mixed population of Creoles, mestizos, European immigrants, Africans, and indigenous Indians.’
      • ‘Some urban-and often lighter skinned-Belizean Creoles were large landowners and merchants in the early to mid-nineteenth century, having inherited property from their wealthy white fathers.’
    2. 1.2 A white descendant of French settlers in Louisiana and other parts of the southern US.
      • ‘His father had prospered in Louisiana and married a young Creole before returning to his native region.’
      • ‘She married Oscar Chopin, a Creole, and went to live in New Orleans, Louisiana, spending her summers at Grand Isle, a fashionable resort off the south coast.’
      • ‘In Louisiana the Creoles and Acadians rejected the cotton planters' Southern nationalism.’
      • ‘French Creoles dominated Louisiana, even after Spain officially took over the colony in the mid-eighteenth century and some Spanish settled there.’
      • ‘Those early settlers of French descent came to be known as Creoles and still make up a central part of the state's community.’
  • 2A mother tongue formed from the contact of two languages through an earlier pidgin stage.

    ‘a Portuguese-based Creole’
    • ‘An English Creole arose on Saint Croix and is still spoken, although its use is generally limited to older islanders.’
    • ‘Most people on the islands speak a local dialect, or Creole, that combines elements of West African languages and French.’
    • ‘While the spoken language is Creole, the schools teach in English, and French remains the language of prestige.’
    • ‘They insisted we speak Creole at home, join the local Haitian church and become active in our community to stay close to our Haitian roots.’
    • ‘Some Creole is spoken near the Haitian border and in the sugarcane villages, where many Haitian workers live.’
    • ‘English is the official language, but English Creole is the language most people speak.’
    • ‘But you know, they had the ballots available in like three different languages: Spanish and Creole in addition to English.’
    • ‘While English is the official language, French, Creole, Bhojpuri and Urdu are widely spoken.’
    • ‘Others learned the ways of local Indians, as Creoles before them had done, and as the Cajuns themselves had done earlier in Acadia / Nova Scotia.’
    • ‘Although French is the official language, Creole is the language of everyday life.’
    • ‘Seychellois have three official languages: Creole, English, and French.’
    • ‘The vernacular is a Creole, which is essentially fifteenth-century Portuguese with a simplified vocabulary and influences from Mandingo and several Senegambian languages.’
    • ‘The different groups speak their own languages, but the language spoken across ethnic lines is a form of pidgin English called Creole.’
    • ‘We are trying to develop a Jamaican sign language system for English and Jamaican Creole.’
    • ‘But St Lucia has many areas with French names, and the locals speak both English and Creole.’
    • ‘The lack of local Creole literature has prompted many Martinicans to deny that Creole constitutes a language.’
    • ‘As he refined his draft, snippets re-entered his memory in dialects of French, Spanish, Creole and English.’
    • ‘They are afraid that those who speak Creole will learn French, and no longer feel inferior.’
    • ‘The original language community of the Creoles was composed of French and Louisiana Creole.’
    • ‘The term Creole derives from the Portuguese word ‘crioulo’ meaning an individual of European ancestry who was born and reared abroad.’
    language, dialect, patois, vernacular, mother tongue, native tongue, jargon, argot, cant, pidgin, creole, lingua franca
    View synonyms

adjective

  • Relating to a Creole or Creoles.

    • ‘The young men getting into trouble do not have Creole names.’
    • ‘In this Creole kind of interactive transaction, not only do you get what you want, but you also meet half the island in the process.’
    • ‘Along with simple shot gun houses and Creole cottages, century-old landmarks were hit hard.’
    • ‘Riddles play an important part in Creole folklore.’
    • ‘Low country cooking is very similar to Cajun or Creole cuisine.’
    • ‘Another first is the Bayou Cafe, a New Orleans-inspired Cajun and Creole eatery that features live jazz music accompaniment.’
    • ‘Inspired by Derek Walcott's epic poem ‘Omeros,’ it explores Creole identity.’
    • ‘Women are the emotional and economic center of the household in many Creole groups but are subordinated in traditional, patriarchal Hindostani circles.’
    • ‘They grew up together on and around Roman Street in the 7th Ward, the most intensely Creole part of town.’
    • ‘But the exclusion of Creole cuisine from the top league table wouldn't meet with local approval.’
    • ‘This energetic and erotic Creole dance has origins in the sugar fields, in the days when African labour was captive.’
    • ‘Although the archetypal Belizean Creole of colonial commentary was male, women also were contributing to the development of rural Belizean Creole places.’
    • ‘The capital of the island is Roseau, a town of bright painted shutters and Creole cafés, where the dreadlocks swing and fine large ladies laugh like avalanches’
    • ‘But the role of the emergent rural and non-elite Creole population in transforming Belize's landscape throughout the nineteenth century is less clear.’
    • ‘Turning around, I discover two beautiful Creole women, drinking beer and laughing like crazy.’
    • ‘My parents were among the cream of Creole society.’
    • ‘We have our own architecture with the famous shotgun houses and Creole cottages and the mansions in the Garden District.’
    • ‘The mambo derives its power from Creole voodoo.’
    • ‘Cemeteries held an important place in Creole life.’
    • ‘These discourses invalidate indigenous and Creole land claims in the popular imagination and inform the cultural politics of identity among coastal peoples.’

Origin

From French créole, criole, from Spanish criollo, probably from Portuguese crioulo ‘black person born in Brazil’, from criar ‘to breed’, from Latin creare ‘produce, create’.

Pronunciation

Creole

/ˈkriˌoʊl//ˈkrēˌōl/