Meaning of barracoon in English:


Pronunciation /ˌbarəˈkuːn/


  • An enclosure in which slaves or convicts were confined for a limited period.

    ‘Conditions for the African slaves during the Middle Passage are worse than theirs in the barracoons.’
    • ‘While they negotiated with the ships, they locked us up in big cages on the shore called barracoons.’
    • ‘A signal was made from the vessel, and soon afterwards I saw a long line of slaves coming forth from behind a wood which concealed the barracoons where they had been confined.’
    • ‘Before slaving vessels ever left the barracoons of the African coast, Europeans closely inspected the bodies of captive Africans, even tasting their sweat for signs of illness.’
    • ‘These intermediary markets also used by agents of Europeans, who had barracoons in these markets, were fed by slaves from the north.’


Mid 19th century from Spanish barracón, from barraca ‘soldier's tent’ (see barracks).