gau·​cho | \ ˈgau̇-(ˌ)chō How to pronounce gaucho (audio) \
plural gauchos

Definition of gaucho

: a cowboy of the South American pampas

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The nomadic and colorful horsemen of the Argentine and Uruguayan plains, the guachos remain folk heroes famed for hardiness and lawlessness. Gauchos flourished from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century. At first they rounded up the herds of horses and cattle that roamed freely on the vast grasslands east of the Andes. In the early 19th century, they fought first in the armies that defeated the Spanish colonial regime and then for the military dictators who jockeyed for power after independence. Argentine writers celebrated the gauchos, and gaucho literature is an important part of the Argentine cultural tradition.

Examples of gaucho in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jara and his family have been puesteros (a type of gaucho) for generations. Dan Sadgrove, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 6 Apr. 2020 In 17th-century Argentina, gauchos flaunted their strength and agility through a lightning-quick percussive dance called malambo, often facing off in dance battles to prove their mettle. Brian Schaefer, New York Times, "5 Dance Performances to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 6 Feb. 2020 In the financial district, in a building designed by Sir David Adjaye, the kitchen islands will be made from two rough slabs of stone, one cantilevered over the other — the only things missing are hunks of meat and some Argentine gauchos. New York Times, "Cook Like a Scullery Maid on ‘Downton Abbey’," 5 Nov. 2019 In his response, Macri invoked an elderly gaucho who recently appeared in a viral video, expressing his worries about Argentina’s current juncture. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "Argentina Considers a Return to Peronism," 28 Aug. 2019 The gaucho recalled a childhood episode, when a neighbor asked for his help to get several foals across a wide and choppy stream. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "Argentina Considers a Return to Peronism," 28 Aug. 2019 If those gauchos haven’t got the baby-back pork ribs, request them. Beth Segal,, "Cello’s Grill: Carnivorous pleasures abound at this Cleveland Brazilian-style steakhouse," 1 Aug. 2019 Here, 17 types of meat are roasted on a grill imported from Brazil and served by waiters in gaucho-style attire. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "Brazilian steakhouse Galpão Gaucho now carving in Walnut Creek," 17 July 2019 The system has its origins in tradition of the gaucho, the region’s equivalent to the cowboy. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "The Home Grills That Make Every Meal a Commitment," 25 Sep. 2018

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

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First Known Use of gaucho

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gaucho

American Spanish

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The first known use of gaucho was in 1824

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Cite this Entry

“Gaucho.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce gaucho (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gaucho

: a cowboy in South America

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