des·​per·​a·​do | \ ˌde-spə-ˈrä-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce desperado (audio) , -ˈrā- \
plural desperadoes or desperados

Definition of desperado

: a bold or violent criminal especially : a bandit of the western U.S. in the 19th century

Examples of desperado in a Sentence

the notorious desperados of the Wild West
Recent Examples on the Web The premise, The Sandman) will portray Mansell, aka The Oklahoma Wildman, a violent, sociopathic desperado who’s already slipped through the fingers of Detroit’s finest once and aims to do so again. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 May 2022 The film saddles up alongside Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), a desperado looking for vengeance after a traumatic childhood incident. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, 4 Nov. 2021 And the male rider looked the part of a desperado with his white hat & bandana, brown leather chaps, and white duster adorned with blue Cowboys stars. Kristi Scales, Dallas News, 9 Dec. 2020 Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo No one faced more pressure to thrive, aside from those desperados on the roster bubble. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 25 Aug. 2019 There's going to be 15 desperados over those two nights. NBC News, 28 July 2019 Buy a California fishing license at Convict Lake, named for a gang of desperadoes who broke out of a Nevada jail in 1871 and met their end in a shootout with lawmen here. Katherine Rodeghier, Dallas News, 16 July 2019 That includes the dead G-Man and the desperado who gunned him down, the outlaw eventually swinging from a noose in downtown Indianapolis while a bloodthirsty crowd cheered on Alabama Street. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, 3 July 2019 The desperadoes are so evil that Dutch (Borgnine) makes a joke of it when someone suggests pausing to give a decent burial to a fallen comrade. Kyle Smith, National Review, 20 June 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of desperado

1647, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for desperado

probably alteration of obsolete desperate desperado, from desperate, adjective

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The first known use of desperado was in 1647

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Desperado.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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