mustang

noun mus·tang \ ˈməs-ˌtaŋ \

Definition of mustang

1 :a small hardy naturalized horse of U.S. western plains directly descended from horses brought in by the Spaniards; also :bronc
2 slang :a commissioned officer (as in the U.S. Navy) who has risen from the ranks

Recent Examples of mustang from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mustang.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of mustang

Mexican Spanish mestengo, from Spanish, stray, from mesteño strayed, from mesta annual roundup of cattle that disposed of strays, from Medieval Latin (animalia) mixta mixed animals


Mustang

geographical name Mu·stang \ mu̇-ˈstäŋ \
variants: or locally Lo play \ˈlō\

Definition of Mustang

historical Himalayan kingdom in remote northern Nepal bordered by Tibet on the west, north, and east

MUSTANG Defined for English Language Learners

mustang

noun

Definition of mustang for English Language Learners

  • : a small and strong wild horse of western North America


MUSTANG Defined for Kids

mustang

noun mus·tang \ ˈmə-ˌstang \

Definition of mustang for Students

:a small hardy wild horse of the western United States that is descended from horses brought in by the Spaniards

History for mustang

Centuries ago in Spain, stray cattle were rounded up each year and sold. The Spanish word for this roundup of strays, mesta, came from a Latin phrase that meant “mixed animals” (animalia mixta). From mesta, the Spanish made another word, mestengo, that meant “a stray animal.” In Mexico, this word was used for a kind of wild horse. That is where English mustang came from.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

pleasing or sweet sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!