lar·​i·​at ˈler-ē-ət How to pronounce lariat (audio)
: a long light rope (as of hemp or leather) used with a running noose to catch livestock or with or without the noose to tether grazing animals : lasso

Example Sentences

the cowboy could throw a lariat around a running steer's head from 20 yards away
Recent Examples on the Web Sienna Miller in a Boucheron tassel lariat. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 Grant hung his lariat on a nail in disgust, sat on the ground, and watched Rufus practice. Thomas Mcguane, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2022 Jemma Wynne’s lariat with diamond slider and diamond end tips can be layered with shorter necklaces or worn on it’s own. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 11 July 2022 At least one of the agents at the center of the probe — the officer seen wielding a rope known as a lariat while grabbing a migrant by the collar — has not yet been contacted for an interview. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, 10 Nov. 2021 The film, knowingly set in Orwell’s infamous year, makes a point when Wonder Woman wields her lariat against a would-be overlord’s worldwide deception: Only unified truth will set us free. Washington Post, 25 Dec. 2020 His trailing leg embroiders the glide with lariat-like curlicues, but what draws a viewer’s eye, hypnotically, is the motor: the spiraling, snaking motion of those hips. Brian Seibert, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2019 On December 2, Scherzinger attended The British Fashion Awards in London, hitting the red carpet in a sparkling, black Julien MacDonald gown featuring open shoulders and a lariat-like neckline. Marci Robin, Allure, 3 Dec. 2019 More recent talismans hung on a wall next to her desk: a looped lariat, two weathered cowboy hats, a wolf photograph. Ingfei Chen, The New Yorker, 29 May 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lariat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


American Spanish la reata the lasso, from Spanish la the + American Spanish reata lasso, from Spanish reatar to tie again, from re- + atar to tie, from Latin aptare to fit — more at adapt

First Known Use

1832, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lariat was in 1832

Dictionary Entries Near lariat

Cite this Entry

“Lariat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


lar·​i·​at ˈlar-ē-ət How to pronounce lariat (audio)
: a rope with a noose used to catch livestock or to tie up grazing animals : lasso

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