made of shells and used by North American Indians as money, for ornament
, etc.: they were of two varieties
, white and the more valuable black (or dark
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
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Word origin of 'wampum'earlier wampompeag < Massachusett (cf. Abenaki wαpαpəyak, wampum strings < wαp-, white + -αpi, string + -ak, pl.)