(1811-96) a US writer whose novel Uncle Tom's Cabin influenced many people in the US, especially in the North, to oppose slavery (=the system where black people were owned by white people and made to work for them). In the 20th century, the book was criticized for the way it shows the relationship between slaves and their owners, and the expression "Uncle Tom" is used in a disapproving way to describe a black person who is too eager to please white people.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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