1. A person of European ancestry born in the West Indies or Spanish America.
a. A person descended from or culturally related to the original French settlers of the southern United States, especially Louisiana.
b. The French dialect spoken by these people.
3. A person descended from or culturally related to the Spanish and Portuguese settlers of the Gulf States.
4. often creole A person of mixed African and European ancestry who speaks a creolized language, especially one based on French or Spanish.
5. A black slave born in the Americas as opposed to one brought from Africa.
6. creole A creolized language.
7. Haitian Creole.
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Creoles.
2. creole Cooked with a spicy sauce containing tomatoes, onions, and peppers: shrimp creole; creole cuisine.
[French créole, from Spanish criollo, person native to a locality, from Portuguese crioulo, diminutive of cria, person raised in the house, especially a servant, from criar, to bring up, from Latin creāre, to beget; see ker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.