mus·​tang | \ ˈmə-ˌstaŋ How to pronounce mustang (audio) \

Definition of mustang

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


geographical name
Mu·​stang | \ mu̇-ˈstäŋ How to pronounce Mustang (audio) \
variants: or locally Lo \ ˈlō How to pronounce Lo (audio) \

Definition of Mustang (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of mustang in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Meanwhile, the Comanche, mounted on fleet mustangs, galloped toward them, firing arrows at a rate of 20 or 30 per minute. Jim Rasenberger, Time, "Understanding the Origins of American Gun Culture Can Help Reframe Today’s Gun Debate," 26 May 2020 The nonprofit’s signature program involves pairing veterans with wild mustangs to gentle and train, but interacting with the animals is not a requirement. Washington Post, "Veteran center helped by Gold Star parents opens," 10 Jan. 2020 Bureau officials warn that the mustang herds are a looming catastrophe for the land, and there is no cheap or obvious solution. Dave Philipps,, "A mustang crisis looms in the West," 22 Mar. 2020 By the 1960s, only a few thousand mustangs were left. Dave Philipps, New York Times, "A Mustang Crisis Looms in the West," 22 Mar. 2020 The well-digging behavior of feral mustangs and burros in the American West most likely echoes the original American horses, which died out about 12,000 years ago. Asher Elbein, New York Times, "Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions," 26 Mar. 2020 The roundup operation itself is strikingly efficient; a helicopter and a few workers in jean jackets can catch scores of mustangs in a day. Dave Philipps,, "A mustang crisis looms in the West," 22 Mar. 2020 By Rachael Bale, ANIMALS Executive Editor From the legendary ponies of Chincoteague Island to the iconic mustangs of Nevada’s rangelands, free-ranging horses (detail, above) are an instantly recognizable symbol of wild America. National Geographic, "Who decides the freedom of America's wild horses?," 20 Feb. 2020 New Freedom Farm has 20 equine residents, including donkeys and wild mustangs. Washington Post, "Veteran center helped by Gold Star parents opens," 10 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of mustang


1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for mustang

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The first known use of mustang was in 1808

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Last Updated

11 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mustang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for mustang


How to pronounce Mustang (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mustang

: a small and strong wild horse of western North America


mus·​tang | \ ˈmə-ˌstang How to pronounce mustang (audio) \

Kids Definition of mustang

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mustang

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mustang

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mustang

Spanish Central: Translation of mustang

Nglish: Translation of mustang for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mustang

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