noun mus·tang \ˈməs-ˌtaŋ\

: a small and strong wild horse of western North America

Full Definition of MUSTANG

:  a small hardy naturalized horse of United States western plains directly descended from horses brought in by the Spaniards; also :  bronc
slang :  a commissioned officer (as in the United States Navy) who has risen from the ranks

Origin of MUSTANG

Mexican Spanish mestengo, from Spanish, stray, from mesteño strayed, from mesta annual roundup of cattle that disposed of strays, from Medieval Latin (animalia) mixta mixed animals
First Known Use: 1808
MUSTANG Defined for Kids


noun mus·tang \ˈmə-ˌstang\

Definition of MUSTANG for Kids

:  a small hardy wild horse of the western United States that is descended from horses brought in by the Spaniards

Word History of MUSTANG

Centuries ago in Spain, stray cattle were rounded up each year and sold. The Spanish word for this roundup of strays, mesta, came from a Latin phrase that meant mixed animals (animalia mixta). From mesta, the Spanish made another word, mestengo, that meant a stray animal. In Mexico, this word was used for a kind of wild horse. That is where English mustang came from.


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