maroon

\ \ English has two distinct and completely unrelated words maroon. The one denoting ‘brownish red’ and ‘firework’ [16] has had a chequered semantic history, as its present-day diversity of meanings suggests. It comes ultimately from medieval Greek máraonsweet chestnut’, and reached English via Italian marrone and French marron (as in marrons glacés). It was originally used for ‘chestnut’ in English too, but that sense died out in the early 18th century, leaving behind the colour term (an allusion to the reddish brown of the chestnut’s inner shell) and ‘firework, exploding projectile’ (perhaps a reference to the shape of such devices). Maroonabandon’ [17] comes from the noun maroon. This originally meant ‘runaway slave’, and comes via French from American Spanish cimarron. The most widely accepted derivation of this is that it was based on Spanish cimasummit’, a descendant of Latin cymasprout’, and that it thus denotes etymologically ‘one who lives on the mountain tops’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Maroon — Maroon, marooning, or marooned may refer to:* Maroon (color), a mixture composed of brown and red * Maroon (people), runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, or North America * Marooning, the act of leaving someone on a… …   Wikipedia

  • Maroon — Ma*roon (m[.a]*r[=oo]n ), a. [F. marron chestnut colored, fr. marron a large French chestnut, It. marrone; cf. LGr. ma raon. Cf. {Marron}.] Having the color called maroon. See 4th {Maroon}. [1913 Webster] {Maroon lake}, lake prepared from madder …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • maroon — Ⅰ. maroon [1] ► NOUN 1) a dark brownish red colour. 2) chiefly Brit. a firework that makes a loud bang, used as a signal or warning. ORIGIN from French marron chestnut ; sense 2 is so named because the firework makes the noise of a chestnut… …   English terms dictionary

  • Maroon — Ma*roon , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Marooned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Marooning}.] [See {Maroon} a fugitive slave.] To put (a person) ashore on a desolate island or coast and leave him to his fate. [1913 Webster] {Marooning party}, a social excursion party… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Maroon — Ma*roon , n. 1. A brownish or dull red of any description, esp. of a scarlet cast rather than approaching crimson or purple. [1913 Webster] 2. An explosive shell. See {Marron}, 3. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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