plural -s
: a buffalo hunter

Word History


American Spanish, from cíbolo, cíbola "bison" (from Cíbola, name for an ill-defined area of the U.S. Southwest and southern Great Plains first entered by Coronado's expedition in 1540-42, earlier, putative location of seven fabled cities) + Spanish -ero, agent suffix, going back to Latin -ārius -er entry 2

Note: Cíbola, first used solely as a place name, became transferred to the American bison when the word was misconstrued in phrases such as "cuero de civola" ("Cíbola hide") or "Vacas de Cibola" ("Cívola cows"), where reference is ambiguously to either a place or to an animal. This transfer, which took place in the late 16th and 17th centuries, is demonstrated by a series of citations in the entry cíbolo in Georg Friederici, Amerikanistisches Wörterbuch (Hamburg, 1947), pp. 188-90.

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Dictionary Entries Near cibolero

Cite this Entry

“Cibolero.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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