ma·​cho | \ ˈmä-(ˌ)chō How to pronounce macho (audio) \

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for macho

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of macho in a Sentence

Adjective the macho world of football Noun their annual guys-only hunting trip is a celebration of macho
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Ferrante, for her part, has given it macho scope at 1,600 pages, expanding the stories of two poor girls—one of whom escapes the old neighborhood while the other stays behind—into a historical epic that encompasses six decades of postwar Italy. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, "Making Order of the Breakdown," 8 Sep. 2020 Trump has perfected it, even as it is lightly greased with macho posturing. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Real, Paranoid Housewives of the Republican Convention," 27 Aug. 2020 In the 20th century, the American presidents seen as most charismatic had a macho strength associated with international conflict: the war hero John Kennedy, and his Cold War successor Ronald Reagan. David A. Bell, Fortune, "Why female leaders are faring better than ‘wartime presidents’ against COVID-19," 20 Aug. 2020 Breaking the rules, and getting away with it, is at the center of the ethos of macho lawlessness that underpins strongman rule. Ruth Ben-ghiat, The New York Review of Books, "Co-opt & Corrupt: How Trump Bent and Broke the GOP," 12 Aug. 2020 Feminism was still a dirty word in macho Texas when Maura McNiel, wife, mother, Sunday school teacher and community volunteer, dared to speak up for women’s rights. Jane Sumner, Dallas News, "Maura McNiel, longtime leader of the Dallas feminist movement, dies at 99," 8 Aug. 2020 During the coronavirus pandemic, leaders focused on defending a macho image have put their nations at risk in two ways. Peter Glick, Scientific American, "Why Some Male Leaders Won’t Follow COVID-19 Safety Protocols," 13 July 2020 French feminists, who have long sought to battle women’s oppression in a macho culture, welcomed the movement as a breakthrough that allowed victims to speak out at last — though no powerful French figures lost their jobs as a result. Arno Pedram,, "Women’s rights groups protest French ministers’ appointments," 7 July 2020 Mask-wearing somehow got aligned with party affiliation—possibly because Trump himself initially refused to wear a mask, possibly because mask-wearing got retroactively redefined as unmasculine, freaking out macho-aspirants. Megan Molteni, Wired, "How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have," 2 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The marines’ publicity bureau, established before the first world war, carefully cultivated an image of an elite force with a macho, Spartan streak. The Economist, "Send the Marines," 31 Mar. 2020 This latest film, which opens areawide on Christmas Day, has him as a super macho, super suave, super spy who becomes ... a pigeon. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "Superspy Will Smith and nerdy Tom Holland refuse to be pigeonholed in ‘Spies in Disguise’," 16 Dec. 2019 Patient, steadfast Inti, round faced and dimple cheeked, rebuke to the macho South American stereotype. Mathina Calliope, Longreads, "The Backcountry Prescription Experiment," 3 Dec. 2019 And vulnerable, with real feelings, rather than being this macho, trying-to-be-tough guy. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Brad Pitt: In a post-#MeToo world, men can be ‘vulnerable and own their ‘flaws’," 30 July 2019 Who would have ever thought that NASCAR — the ultimate macho-man sports — would defer to women’s soccer? Mike Bianchi,, "Coke Zero Sugar 400 shows NASCAR, NBC don’t know when to come in out of the rain | Commentary," 7 July 2019 The restaurant’s standout items are traditional Bolivian dishes, like the pique a la macho, an entree of steak strips sauteed with red onion, peppers and spices. Leeanne Griffin,, "La Familia Brings Authentic Bolivian Food To Canton," 25 June 2018 Eat WellBig Ben Huanchaco has fantastic seafood (stewed crabs, pescado a lo macho), with an unbeatable view of the bay. Catherine Elton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Your Next Surf Spot Should Be Peru," 16 Oct. 2018 Why Verge readers might care: Justice League was the most promising of the DC movies to date, and Momoa’s Aquaman, with his rough, smirking humor and outsized version of macho, was a major part of that. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The Verge fall movie preview, December 2018," 7 Sep. 2018

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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Time Traveler for macho

Time Traveler

The first known use of macho was in 1928

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Statistics for macho

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Macho.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for macho


How to pronounce macho (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of macho

often disapproving : 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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Nglish: Translation of macho for Spanish Speakers

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