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Definition of "cowboy" [cow•boy]

  • A hired man, especially in the western United States, who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on horseback. Also called cowman, cowpoke, cowpuncher; also called regionally buckaroo, vaquero, waddy2. See Regional Note at vaquero. (noun)
  • An adventurous hero. (noun)
  • Slang A reckless person, such as a driver, pilot, or manager, who ignores potential risks. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cowboy" in a sentence
  • "Long before the term cowboy was coined in the 1700s, free and enslaved Africans and their descendents were herding cattle on Florida's prairies."
  • "Texas's success in leading California—and every state in the union—in job growth stems from what I call "cowboy capitalism.""
  • " She baked what she called cowboy cookies and brought them wrapped in plastic to give away at our favorite bar, she kept bags of socks and gloves from the dollar store in the back seat of her car to give away on the street."