ma·cho | \ ˈmä-(ˌ)chō \

Definition of macho 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: characterized by machismo : aggressively virile


plural machos

Definition of macho (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one who exhibits machismo

2 : machismo

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Synonyms & Antonyms for macho

Synonyms: Noun

machismo, manhood, manliness, masculinity, virility

Antonyms: Noun

femininity, muliebrity, womanhood, womanliness

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Examples of macho in a Sentence


the macho world of football


their annual guys-only hunting trip is a celebration of macho

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sharp Objects also matches Camille’s drinking with Detective Willis’s, perhaps leading viewers to question why hers might seem pathetic but his is more natural, even macho. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Twisted, Enthralling Rot of Sharp Objects," 7 July 2018 While Journalists Were Mad at Michelle Wolf, the Justice Department Was Found Quietly Deleting References to Press Freedom Another version of that resignation is a very macho rejection: All that stuff with the inner life doesn't matter. Clay Skipper, GQ, "How to Be Happy When You're Skeptical of Everything," 3 May 2018 There is still very much that image in documentaries and in television shows of this very macho, masculine, testosterone-driven, Indiana Jones-style character that goes out to some corner of the world. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "How Jurassic Park led to the modernization of dinosaur paleontology," 23 June 2018 And the country’s National Human Rights Commission has labelled the culture as macho and patriarchal. Washington Post, "Mexican soccer fans and pride marchers mingle in celebration," 23 June 2018 Feminist groups such as Ni Una Menos (Not One Less), formed in 2015, have campaigned with increasing vigour against domestic violence and the macho culture that encourages it. The Economist, "Argentina moves closer to legalising abortion," 9 June 2018 Yet the scariest thing about Bolton is this: His deep belief in military action will strengthen the president’s most macho instincts. Trudy Rubin,, "What H.R. McMaster's exit and John Bolton's arrival mean for the next three dangerous months | Trudy Rubin," 23 Mar. 2018 Bourdain managed to be masculine without being swaggeringly macho. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade and the Dangers of Envying 'Perfect' Lives," 8 June 2018 The room is not oppressively or simplistically macho. Tim Gavan, WSJ, "The Gentleman Cave: How to Create a Tastefully Macho Room," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some were placing their bets on Joe Biden And others backed Donald Trump This macho sparring has cropped up before. Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, "Why Twitter spat between Donald Trump and Joe Biden might hurt anti-bullying efforts," 22 Mar. 2018 In the office, only his perceptive assistant, Mary Johnson, sees beneath his macho-man swagger. John Von Rhein,, "A gay love affair in '50s D.C. plays out to touching effect in 'Fellow Travelers'," 18 Mar. 2018 The two Howards are part of that apparatus, the meek Howard a paper-shuffler in the original world and the macho Howard a covert agent for the splinter world. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: ‘Counterpart’ Gives Us J.K. Simmons, Times Two," 19 Jan. 2018 After that, law school at NYU, then a job at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the most decorated and macho of the city’s white-shoe firms. Simon Van Zuylen-wood, Daily Intelligencer, "Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?," 21 Jan. 2018 John Trengove's The Wound examines South Africa's hyper-macho and homophobic culture through a story of a closeted gay man tasked with initiating a teenage boy in the traditional ways of manhood. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: How Real-World Events Could Impact the Foreign-Language Race," 8 Jan. 2018 Unlike Samsung’s macho-big Gear S3, its smaller, cheaper sibling will fit a range of wrists. Jeffrey Van Camp, WIRED, "Review: Samsung Gear Sport," 31 Oct. 2017 The Dodgers are trying to win the World Series, not some macho, turn-back-the-clock sentiment. Tom Verducci,, "Clayton Kershaw's Masterpiece Elevates Dodgers over Astros in Game 1 of the World Series," 25 Oct. 2017 France and the United States have produced some of the most famous feminist thinkers in history, but both countries also have a huge macho culture. Mary Wang, Vogue, "Gloria Steinem's Advice for The Next Generation of Feminists Is a Must-Read for Our Time," 13 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'macho.' 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 macho


1928, in the meaning defined above


1951, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for macho


Spanish, literally, male, from Latin masculus — more at masculine

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Statistics for macho

Last Updated

6 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for macho

The first known use of macho was in 1928

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More Definitions for macho



English Language Learners Definition of macho

: having or showing qualities (such as very noticeable strength and aggression) that agree with traditional ideas about what men are like : manly or masculine in a very noticeable or exaggerated way

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Comments on macho

What made you want to look up macho? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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