maverick

noun
mav·​er·​ick | \ ˈmav-rik How to pronounce maverick (audio) , ˈma-və-\

Definition of maverick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an unbranded range animal especially : a motherless calf
2 : an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

maverick

adjective
mav·​er·​ick | \ ˈmav-rik How to pronounce maverick (audio) , ˈma-və-\

Definition of maverick (Entry 2 of 2)

: characteristic of, suggestive of, or inclined to be a maverick

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Did You Know?

Noun

When a client gave Samuel A. Maverick 400 cattle to settle a $1,200 debt, the 19th-century south Texas lawyer had no use for them, so he left the cattle unbranded and allowed them to roam freely (supposedly under the supervision of one of his employees). Neighboring stockmen recognized their opportunity and seized it, branding and herding the stray cattle as their own. Maverick eventually recognized the folly of the situation and sold what was left of his depleted herd, but not before his name became synonymous with such unbranded livestock. By the end of the 19th century, the term maverick was being used to refer to individuals who prefer to blaze their own trails.

Examples of maverick in a Sentence

Noun

Let him refind his inner rebel, the famous irreverent maverick, let the tiger out of the cage. — Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, 28–29 June 2008 In the Senate, however, he had established himself as a bright and prickly maverick, not averse to sharp criticism of his own party, its policies, and its leaders, most especially Bill Clinton. — John Gregory Dunne, New York Review of Books, 13 June 2002 This, of course, is dangerous for the rest of us. With one successfully repatriated daughter, Papi might yank us all out of college and send us back. Not to mention that it's out and out creepy that Fifi, the maverick, is so changed. — Julia Alvarez, How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents, 1991 there's always one maverick who has to go his own way

Adjective

Occasionally nerves and veins take maverick pathways and show up in unexpected places. — Virginia Holman, Double Take, Winter 2002 Later British units, deprived of the opportunity for maverick expression by a revamped chain of UN command with a different political agenda, started spouting the organization's euphemisms that sought to paint every Bosnian side the same shade of guilty grey. — Anthony Loyd, My War Gone By, I Miss It So, 1999 He was maverick enough, original-minded enough, however, to realize that he could do better than simply follow Murray's orders to the letter. — Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman, 1998 George Sand's maverick views on marriage scandalized 19th-century French society.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Handler had developed a reputation as a maverick with nerves of steel; she’d made Mattel millions in sales. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "There’s Something About Barbie," 7 Mar. 2019 Instead, Bolsonaro, despite being a congressman since 1991, has harnessed much of the anger and presented himself as a maverick who will clean up a corrupt system. Fox News, "Stabbing of a leading Brazilian candidate could reshape race," 7 Sep. 2018 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images McCain, who passed away at age 81, is remembered as a maverick, a man who crossed the aisle and built relationships with Democrats. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the rise of reality TV politics," 26 Aug. 2018 Of course, Arsenal enjoyed many successes before the Frenchman arrived as an unknown maverick from Japan in 1996. SI.com, "Arsenal Need to Stay Away From Chequebook Managers & Find Someone Who Will Continue Wenger's Legacy," 10 May 2018 Many Capital veterans relished their reputation as mavericks and cowboys, especially in comparison to their staid Wall Street rivals. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 Much has been said this week about what a maverick John was. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Read Barack Obama’s eulogy for Sen. John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 Much has been said this week about what a maverick John was. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Barack Obama's Speech at John McCain's Funeral," 1 Sep. 2018 But this tough old Arizona bird, this lifelong warrior, this unorthodox maverick who really was neither a Republican nor a Democrat, knew how to keep friends and monitor enemies. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "St. Beto and the August altar call," 30 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Years later, when the council debated sick-leave and minimum-wage mandates, Meinert had become a successful bar owner and band manager with a maverick political reputation. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "Dave Meinert sexual-misconduct allegations reverberate through Seattle’s music, nightlife, political circles," 10 Aug. 2018 Mirroring the trend in much of Europe, Spain’s parliament is increasingly fragmented, with established parties jostling with regional nationalists and maverick groups that emerged in the wake of the financial crisis. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Spain Is Pushed Closer to Snap Elections by Trial of Catalan Separatists," 12 Feb. 2019 That maverick attitude has also drawn the ire of President Donald Trump. Brian Brinker, Fox News, "Trump Nixed Statement, John McCain Leaves Behind Complicated Legacy," 27 Aug. 2018 By Elif Batuman Sick of corruption and of Trump, voters embrace a maverick leftist. William Brewer, The New Yorker, "Strays," 9 July 2017 Its creator, a maverick Pennsylvania dentist and inventor named Lytle Adams, had some friends in high places. Lucy Cooke, Washington Post, "The batty, explosive history of bats in the military — and why this new idea just might work," 2 July 2018 Its creator, a maverick Pennsylvania dentist and inventor named Lytle Adams, had some friends in high places. Lucy Cooke, Washington Post, "The batty, explosive history of bats in the military — and why this new idea just might work," 2 July 2018 Years of austerity has left Greece’s political scene deeply polarized, reflecting a fragmentation of the political landscape across Europe, as maverick parties emerge and establishment parties shoulder the blame for the crisis. Deborah Ball, WSJ, "Aftereffects of Eurozone Crisis Plague Europe’s South," 1 June 2018 Its creator, a maverick Pennsylvania dentist and inventor named Lytle Adams, had some friends in high places. Lucy Cooke, Washington Post, "The batty, explosive history of bats in the military — and why this new idea just might work," 2 July 2018

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

Noun

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for maverick

Noun and Adjective

Samuel A. Maverick †1870 American pioneer who did not brand his calves

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Dictionary Entries near maverick

mauvy

maux

maven

maverick

mavericker

mavis

mavish

Statistics for maverick

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for maverick

The first known use of maverick was in 1867

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More Definitions for maverick

maverick

noun

English Language Learners Definition of maverick

: a person who refuses to follow the customs or rules of a group

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maverick

Spanish Central: Translation of maverick

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Britannica English: Translation of maverick for Arabic Speakers

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