Definition of Uncle Tom in English:

Uncle Tom


  • 1North American offensive A black man considered to be excessively obedient or servile to white people.

    • ‘And if you're a black man, they'll call you sometimes, an Uncle Tom, or they'll say that you've fallen for the white man's religion.’
    • ‘White pols want you to run, but white voters forget to vote for you, while black voters figure you're an Uncle Tom.’
    • ‘He was a cartoon, an offensive stereotype, an Uncle Tom, the literary creation of a white author with an obvious regional agenda.’
    • ‘Huey Freeman of ‘Boondocks’ has always been an Uncle Tom.’
    • ‘He better hope that, because Lowery pretty much called anyone who would vote for him an Uncle Tom.’
    • ‘And at the same time, speaking to black America, he branded Frazier an Uncle Tom, turning him into an object of derision and scorn.’
    • ‘Their families moved north during the 1920s, and each was derided as an Uncle Toms during the militant 1960s.’
    • ‘As for Johnson's calling his brother an Uncle Tom, Tiki Barber said: ‘That just proves to me what kind of person he is.’’
    • ‘But once upon a time in the 19th century, someone who had been called an Uncle Tom would not have been insulted - he would have taken it as a compliment of the highest order.’
    • ‘Look at my work on civil rights and you'll see I'm the opposite of an Uncle Tom.’
    • ‘Thurgood Marshall said, ‘All Cole needs to complete his role as an Uncle Tom is a banjo.’’
    • ‘To promote their fights, the champ explained to the New York Times, he had called Frazier an Uncle Tom and even likened him to a gorilla.’
    • ‘‘I am not an Uncle Tom,’ he insisted, showing how deeply that taunt had cut him over the years.’
    • ‘I believe that in the old world of civil rights you'd be termed an Uncle Tom.’
    • ‘I expect him to be an Uncle Tom, but his statements were fairly balanced.’
    • ‘Obviously his family, his coming from a black family, it was easier for them to shout treason, or call him an Uncle Tom and consequently has family too might be affected.’
    • ‘Some decried him as an Uncle Tom, but no American of the Fifties - not Chuck Berry or Harry Belafonte - did more to unite black and white.’
    • ‘He was awful to Joe Frazier, making him out to be an Uncle Tom.’
    1. 1.1A person regarded as betraying their cultural or social allegiance.
      ‘he called moderates Uncle Toms’


Mid 19th century (first referring to an enslaved black man): from the name of the hero of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), an anti-slavery novel by the American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe.


Uncle Tom

/ʌŋkl ˈtɒm/