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

The core difference is that Bumblebee strips out much of the franchise’s wannabe macho excess, replacing it with a Spielbergian story about the friendship that forms between a robotic alien and a teenage girl. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Bumblebee proves Transformers movies can actually be resonant and emotional," 20 Dec. 2018 That’s because the dangerous, important and macho work of digging coal out of the earth holds a special place in our national imagination. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What happened to coal," 21 Aug. 2018 The Internet abounds with listicles detailing his macho feats of cinema. Joseph Hincks / Hong Kong, Time, "'I'm Still Full of Stories.' Werner Herzog Reflects on 50 Years of Filmmaking," 4 Apr. 2018 Their macho camaraderie was often exclusionary and damaging. Noel Murray, The Verge, "This weekend, stream Venus, the breakthrough film for Doctor Who’s Thirteenth Doctor," 5 Oct. 2018 Hugh Jackman stars as Hart, acting with conviction and American macho ruggedness. Kate Klausner, Vogue, "Hugh Jackman Trades Wolverine for Politics at Last Night’s Premiere of The Front Runner," 31 Oct. 2018 Those last two industries spend a great deal of energy examining and then carping about popular culture while only recently starting to systemically criticize the macho jock culture that generates male toxicity. Robert Lipsyte, New York Times, "My Struggle to Write Honestly About a Test of Manhood," 11 May 2018 Tales of apparitions and voices coming seemingly from nowhere are rampant amongst these macho, Latino men. Tom Fowlks, Popular Mechanics, "The Floating Crane That Went From Tending Nazi U-Boats To Fixing the Panama Canal," 1 Aug. 2018 Thanks to influential runway collections from Calvin Klein, Gucci, and Vetements, and an overarching return to macho-guy style, the cowboy wardrobe has been making a slow and significant return into the menswear conversation. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Cowboy Gear Worth Lassoing This Spring," 28 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 With the addition of La Familia in Canton, Connecticut now has its own dedicated spot for specialties like salteñas, pique a lo macho and sopa de mani. Leeanne Griffin,, "La Familia Brings Authentic Bolivian Food To Canton," 25 June 2018 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

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

24 Dec 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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on macho

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with macho

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for macho

Spanish Central: Translation of macho

Nglish: Translation of macho for Spanish Speakers

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).


esteemed in general opinion

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