a person having one-fourth black ancestry; the offspring of a mulatto and a white.

1640–50; alteration of Spanish cuarterón, derivative of cuarto fourth < Latin quartus; see -oon

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quadroon (kwɒˈdruːn)
the offspring of a Mulatto and a White person; a person who is one-quarter Black
[C18: from Spanish cuarterón, from cuarto quarter, from Latin quartus]

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Word Origin & History

1707, "offspring of a white and a mulatto," from Sp. cuarteron (used chiefly of the offspring of a European and a mestizo), from cuarto "fourth," from L. quartus (see quart), so called because he or she has one quarter African blood. Alt. by infl. of words in quadr-.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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