ro·​deo | \ ˈrō-dē-ˌō, rə-ˈdā-(ˌ)ō \
plural rodeos

Definition of rodeo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : roundup
2a : a public performance featuring bronco riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, and Brahma bull riding
b : a contest resembling a rodeo


rodeoed; rodeoing; rodeos

Definition of rodeo (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to participate in a rodeo

Examples of rodeo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This is not her last time, won't be her last time -- GUTFELD: Her first rodeo. Fox News, "Maxine Waters renews calls to impeach President Trump," 11 Sep. 2018 Branch captures the excitement, danger and drudgery of life on the rodeo circuit, as the Wright boys chase the large and little wins that will, with luck, take them to the finals and the big money. Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West,’ by John Branch," 17 May 2018 This was certainly not my first time at the brow rodeo. Sable Yong, Allure, "I Tried Maybelline New York's Tattoo Studio Brow Pen and It's Like Training Wheels for Microblading," 20 June 2018 The rodeo will honor military service members and first responders who gave their lives in the line of duty. Linda Mcintosh,, "Community Crusaders pick up trash in Vista," 24 May 2018 The main character, Brady, is a young rodeo cowboy of Lakota heritage who suffered a devastating accident — he was trampled by a horse during competition. Walter Addiego, Houston Chronicle, "Film review: ‘Rider’ an elegiac portrait of a cowboy," 26 Apr. 2018 Why not throw on a pair of boots and take in a rodeo?, "The 50 best events in Oregon," 6 Feb. 2018 For a full schedule and tickets to concert, barbecue and rodeo: Michelle Jenkins, idahostatesman, "June rocks with Alive After Five, family festivals and free movie nights | Idaho Statesman," 26 May 2018 That includes casting former rodeo rider Brady Jandreau in the lead role of Brady Blackburn. Mike Scott,, "'The Rider' movie review: Tiny drama offers what most blockbusters can't," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His father, who rodeoed around Wisconsin in his spare time, raised cattle for dairy farms. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "The non-Texan professional cowboy is a thing," 11 Feb. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of rodeo


1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rodeo


Spanish, from rodear to surround, from rueda wheel, from Latin rota — more at roll

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rodeo

Statistics for rodeo

Last Updated

21 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rodeo

The first known use of rodeo was in 1819

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rodeo



English Language Learners Definition of rodeo

: an event in which people compete at riding horses and bulls, catching animals with ropes, etc.


ro·​deo | \ ˈrō-dē-ˌō, rə-ˈdā-ō\
plural rodeos

Kids Definition of rodeo

: an exhibition that features cowboy skills (as riding and roping)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rodeo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rodeo

Spanish Central: Translation of rodeo

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

Comments on rodeo

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


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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