Definition of wigwam in US English:



  • A dome-shaped hut or tent made by fastening mats, skins, or bark over a framework of poles (as used formerly by some North American Indian peoples).

    • ‘Small children weaved in and out of the wigwams, laughing gleefully.’
    • ‘A yurt - also known as a ger - is the Asian equivalent of a North American Indian wigwam.’
    • ‘I keep dreaming I'm camping with this gorgeous woman, sometimes in army tents, sometimes in mountain tents, sometimes in wigwams.’
    • ‘Since precolonial times Indians had made mats for covering the frames and lining the sides of wigwams and for sleeping or sitting upon.’
    • ‘I liked the idea of living in it: a wigwam seemed a suitable home for a backyard anthropologist.’
    • ‘I figured I'd make a wigwam when I came to that clearing.’
    • ‘Each wigwam counted usually seven or eight persons, and these, together with their provisions, required the use of about twenty horses.’
    • ‘The portability of Ojibwa lodging - the wigwam - enabled such moves to be made quickly and easily.’
    • ‘The collective - all mums of children at the Steiner School in Fulford - first came together on a project to erect a yurt, the Mongolian equivalent of a North American wigwam, on St Nicholas Fields.’
    • ‘Within 20 yards is the first little info board under a Lodge Pole pine, and I learned ‘North American Indians’ propped up their wigwams with these, and so on for Spruce, Western Hemlock etc.’
    • ‘Last I heard, she's using the name ‘Rainbow Flower Love’ and living in a wigwam.’
    • ‘One day, when I was in Grade Three, my school teacher decided to use me as an example of how aboriginal people no longer live in teepees or wigwams.’
    • ‘The Sami tent, called a lavvo, has a circular framework of poles leaning inward like the teepee or wigwam of Native Americans, and a floor of birch twigs covered with layers of reindeer fur.’
    • ‘Accommodation links offer breaks in converted castles, churches, lighthouses and wigwams.’
    • ‘Small, single-family wigwams and pit dwellings are also documented.’
    • ‘In contrast to white people's extravagant ways, Indian wigwams are of high quality, comfortable, and very cheap to build and maintain.’
    • ‘Praying Indians were fined or punished if they did not work, committed fornication, beat their wives, or wandered between wigwams instead of setting up their own.’
    • ‘They are self-sufficient, with an outdoor kitchen and a wigwam with its own wood burner.’
    • ‘The others were those who could not be at the grove full-time - due to work, home, or an aversion to sleeping either 80 feet up a tree or in a wigwam made of tarps set on a gravel logging road.’


Early 17th century: from Ojibwa wigwaum, Algonquian wikiwam ‘their house’.