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 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 However, the growing number of women who fill these allegedly macho jobs are starting to speak up, and to push for gender neutrality in language. Rachel Lance, Scientific American, "Why Does the Phrase "Woman Scientist" Even Exist?," 2 July 2020 More difficult, of course, is assessing the role San Antonians themselves played, from macho construction crews that never wore masks to the church ladies who sewed them for parish elders. Bruce Selcraig,, "San Antonio, still at high risk for COVID-19 deaths, has seen a lower rate than many U.S. urban centers," 22 June 2020 Vicki Wood, a trailblazer in the macho world of auto racing, was among the first women to compete in NASCAR events., "Vicki Wood, broke car-racing gender barriers, at 101," 15 June 2020 Much to their frustration, the macho leaders of these countries are finding the virus immune to their playbooks. Angela Dewan, CNN, "Trump, Putin and Bolsonaro find their populist playbooks are no match for coronavirus," 31 May 2020 There are worries about grip strength, chronicles of boardroom handshake snubs, advice columns urging women to engage in flesh pressing and for men to tone down the macho bone-crusher routine when dealing with their colleagues. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, "The End of Handshakes—for Humans and for Robots," 27 May 2020 Brian Dennehy, the burly actor who started in films as a macho heavy and later in his career won plaudits for his stage work in plays by William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, has died. CBS News, "Brian Dennehy, prolific stage and screen actor, dies at 81," 16 Apr. 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

14 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Macho.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on macho

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for macho

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with macho

Spanish Central: Translation of macho

Nglish: Translation of macho for Spanish Speakers

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