an enclosure or pen for horses, cattle, etc.
a circular enclosure formed by wagons during an encampment, as by covered wagons crossing the North American plains in the 19th century, for defense against attack.

verb (used with object), cor·ralled, cor·ral·ling.

to confine in or as if in a corral.
  1. to seize; capture.
  2. to collect, gather, or garner: to corral votes.
to form (wagons) into a corral.

Origin of corral

1575–85; < Spanish < Late Latin *currāle enclosure for carts, equivalent to Latin curr(us) wagon, cart (derivative of currere to run) + -āle, neuter of -ālis -al1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for corral

Contemporary Examples of corral

Historical Examples of corral

  • The Gaucho, now holding fast the bridle fixed to the lower jaw, leads the horse outside the corral.

  • Hard by was a corral covering perhaps two acres, enclosed with a barbed-wire fence.

    Ben Blair

    Will Lillibridge

  • The sentries of the corral were all stationed away outside of the place where that peculiar log was at work.

    The Red Mustang

    William O. Stoddard

  • Alva Jackson was in his corral distributing hay among his horses from a sack instead of a pitchfork.

    The Lady Doc

    Caroline Lockhart

  • Shortly before dawn the Jicarilla came and entered the corral to exhibit their alli or show.

British Dictionary definitions for corral



mainly US and Canadian an enclosure for confining cattle or horses
mainly US (formerly) a defensive enclosure formed by a ring of covered wagons

verb -rals, -ralling or -ralled (tr) US and Canadian

to drive into and confine in or as in a corral
informal to capture

Word Origin for corral

C16: from Spanish, from Vulgar Latin currāle (unattested) area for vehicles, from Latin currus wagon, from currere to run
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 corral

1580s, from Spanish corral, from corro "ring," Portuguese curral, of uncertain origin. Perhaps ultimately African, or from Vulgar Latin *currale "enclosure for vehicles," from Latin currus "two-wheeled vehicle," from currere "to run."


1847, from corral (n.); meaning "to lay hold of, collar," is U.S. slang from 1860. Related: Corraled.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper