cowboy

noun
cow·​boy | \ ˈkau̇-ˌbȯi How to pronounce cowboy (audio) \

Definition of cowboy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who tends cattle or horses especially : a usually mounted cattle-ranch hand
2 : a rodeo performer
3 : one having qualities (such as recklessness, aggressiveness, or independence) popularly associated with cowboys: such as
a : a reckless driver
b : a business or businessperson operating in an uncontrolled or unregulated manner

cowboy

verb
cowboyed; cowboying; cowboys

Definition of cowboy (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to work as a cowboy cowboyed in Texas and Oklahoma

Synonyms for cowboy

Synonyms: Noun

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Did you know?

In the American West, a horseman skilled at handling cattle is called a cowboy. From ca.1820, cowboys were employed in small numbers on Texas ranches. After the Civil War, their numbers rapidly multiplied as cattle-raising evolved into a lucrative industry throughout the western territories. Cowboys rounded up and branded the cattle, kept watch over the herd, and drove those ready for market to railroad towns. As the agricultural frontier moved west, the open range was transformed into farms, and by 1890 cowboys had been forced to settle on ranches. The romance of their image lives on in American folklore and through movies and television.

Examples of cowboy in a Sentence

Noun a movie about cowboys in the old West He worked for several years as a cowboy on a ranch in Texas. We've got a bunch of risk-taking cowboys running this project. Verb He cowboyed in Texas and Oklahoma.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In Fort Worth, celebrations included the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, named for the Black cowboy who is credited with introducing bulldogging, or steer wrestling. Jamie Stengle And, BostonGlobe.com, 19 June 2022 In Fort Worth, celebrations included the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, named for the Black cowboy who is credited with introducing bulldogging, or steer wrestling. Jamie Stengle And Cheyanne Mumphrey, Chicago Tribune, 19 June 2022 Sinclair says that the whole home has a chic, western feel and is furnished with a blend of traditional cowboy style and sophisticated, tasteful elements throughout. Emma Reynolds, Forbes, 16 June 2022 Naturally, Travolta was given the opportunity to strut his stuff, cowboy style, on Gilley’s hardwood floor. Chris Morris, Variety, 8 May 2022 In a Coach bikini top, patterned pants, and black-and-blue cowboy boots. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 18 Apr. 2022 Biles — wearing cowboy boots with her all-black look — covers the couple's faces with a black cowboy hat. PEOPLE.com, 22 Mar. 2022 Old-school preachers, cowboy-hat policemen, and runaway teens. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Mar. 2022 The history of the Black cowboy has effectively served as a staple symbol of the country music industry and culture. Rashad Robinson, Billboard, 12 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Encompassing 37 pieces for men and women, the collection includes just about every western-wear staple from Yellowstone Dutton Ranch jackets to cowboy work shirts. Oscar Hartzog, Rolling Stone, 17 May 2022 The Angels entered the game with more homers than any team in baseball besides the Toronto Blue Jays, providing many opportunities to cowboy up in the dugout. Steve Hensonassistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 The Book Festival makes a point of including all types of work, from traditional novels to cowboy poetry. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Sep. 2021 The church and its magnetic leader, a descendant of pioneering pastors who preached to cowboy stars from a bygone Hollywood age, seem to revel in their contrarian role. Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2020 Sam Hunt cowboys up Sam Hunt brought the party with him Friday night. Cindy Watts And Adam Tamburin, USA TODAY, 10 June 2017 Sam Hunt cowboys up Sam Hunt brought the party with him Friday night. Cindy Watts And Adam Tamburin, USA TODAY, 10 June 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cowboy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cowboy

Noun

1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1925, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About cowboy

Dictionary Entries Near cowboy

cowbird

cowboy

cowboy boot

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cowboy

Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cowboy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cowboy. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for cowboy

cowboy

noun
cow·​boy | \ ˈkau̇-ˌbȯi How to pronounce cowboy (audio) \

Kids Definition of cowboy

: a man or boy who works on a ranch or performs at a rodeo

More from Merriam-Webster on cowboy

Nglish: Translation of cowboy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cowboy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cowboy

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