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See more synonyms for bronco on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural bron·cos.
  1. a range pony or mustang of the western U.S., especially one that is not broken or is imperfectly broken.
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Also bronc, broncho.

Origin of bronco

1865–70, Americanism; < Mexican Spanish, short for Spanish potro bronco untamed colt (in Mexican Spanish: wild horse, half-tamed horse); bronco, apparently nasalized variant of Latin broccus; see broach
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

bronco, colt, mare, stallion, filly, herdsman, rancher, wrangler, vaquero, gaucho, drover, buckaroo, cowpuncher, cowpoke, cattleman, stockman, cowhand, plug, pony, nag

Examples from the Web for bronco

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He did not know what that something was; but the bronco added to his suspicions by its behavior.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • The bronco stock was bad enough but the green mules were the worst.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • One such day, if the sheepmen were prepared, and Bronco Mesa would be a desert.

    Hidden Water

    Dane Coolidge

  • The boy was beginning to ride the shoulders like a bronco buster.

    Martian V.F.W.

    G.L. Vandenburg

  • The young man rode fast, putting his bronco at the hills with a rush.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for bronco



noun plural -cos or -chos
  1. (in the US and Canada) a wild or partially tamed pony or mustang of the western plains
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Word Origin

C19: from Mexican Spanish, short for Spanish potro bronco unbroken colt, probably from Latin broccus projecting (as knots on wood), hence, rough, wild
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bronco


also broncho, 1850, American English, "untamed or half-tamed horse," from noun use of Spanish bronco (adj.) "rough, rude," originally a noun meaning "a knot in wood," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruncus "a knot, projection," apparently from a cross of Latin broccus "projecting" (see broach (n.)) + truncus "trunk of a tree" (see trunk (n.)). Bronco-buster is attested from 1886.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper