Meaning of wigwam in English:


Pronunciation /ˈwɪɡwam/


  • 1A hut or tent with a domed or conical roof made by fastening bark, hides, or reed mats over a framework of poles (as used traditionally by some North American Indian peoples).

    ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The portability of Ojibwa lodging - the wigwam - enabled such moves to be made quickly and easily.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Small, single-family wigwams and pit dwellings are also documented.’
    • ‘Since precolonial times Indians had made mats for covering the frames and lining the sides of wigwams and for sleeping or sitting upon.’
    • ‘Small children weaved in and out of the wigwams, laughing gleefully.’
    • ‘Accommodation links offer breaks in converted castles, churches, lighthouses and wigwams.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I figured I'd make a wigwam when I came to that clearing.’
    • ‘Last I heard, she's using the name ‘Rainbow Flower Love’ and living in a wigwam.’
    • ‘I liked the idea of living in it: a wigwam seemed a suitable home for a backyard anthropologist.’
    • ‘They are self-sufficient, with an outdoor kitchen and a wigwam with its own wood burner.’
    • ‘Each wigwam counted usually seven or eight persons, and these, together with their provisions, required the use of about twenty horses.’
    1. 1.1A pyramidal framework of poles used to support runner beans, sweet peas, and other climbing plants.
      ‘Annual climbers such as sweet peas can be supported by a wigwam made from bamboo or by twiggy prunings taken from coloured stemmed dogwoods and other shrubs cut back in March.’
      • ‘Large varieties of sweet peas will need a sturdier form of support, either a wigwam or a row of garden stakes.’
      • ‘Planted to clamber up bamboo wigwams or trained up and over an arch, runner beans are pretty enough to grow in the flower garden and yellow, carmine splashed shelling beans are highly decorative.’
      • ‘Make a wigwam or bamboo tunnel and sow peas or beans.’
      • ‘All varieties of peas and beans (except dwarf ones), and other climbers including cucumbers and karella, are best grown up in wigwams, which can easily be constructed out of canes, thin pieces of wood or other available material.’


    a wigwam for a goose's bridle
    Australian informal
    • Used as a reply to an unwanted question.

      • ‘when asked ‘What's that?,’ she snapped sarcastically: ‘It's a wigwam for a goose's bridle!’’
      • ‘I told Ann that I was making a wigwam for a goose's bridle, a special one to help Dad escape. Really, I was carving a plane.’
      • ‘"What are you making?" I said. "A wigwam for a goose's bridle," snarled Barry.’
      • ‘"Where you goin'?" he called. "To git a wigwam for a goose's bridle!" yelled Smith insolently.’
      • ‘I asked her what she was making, and she said, “A Wigwam for a goose's bridle,” so I went off to play.’
      • ‘Pa was watching her through the spy crack. "What're you makin', me darlin'?" "A wigwam for a goose's bridle."’


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