noun, plural bron·cos.

a range pony or mustang of the western U.S., especially one that is not broken or is imperfectly broken.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bronco

Contemporary Examples of bronco

Historical Examples of bronco

  • 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

(in the US and Canada) a wild or partially tamed pony or mustang of the western plains

Word Origin for bronco

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper