cowboy

[ kou-boi ]
/ ˈkaʊˌbɔɪ /

noun

a man who herds and tends cattle on a ranch, especially in the western U.S., and who traditionally goes about most of his work on horseback.
a man who exhibits the skills attributed to such cowboys, especially in rodeos.
Chiefly Northeastern U.S. a reckless or speedy automobile driver.
Informal. a reckless or irresponsible person, especially a show-off or one who undertakes a dangerous or sensitive task heedlessly: They put foreign policy in the hands of cowboys.
(during the American Revolution) a member of a pro-British guerrilla band that operated between the American and British lines near New York City.

verb (used without object)

to work as a cowboy.

Origin of cowboy

First recorded in 1715–25; cow1 + boy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cowboy

British Dictionary definitions for cowboy

cowboy

/ (ˈkaʊˌbɔɪ) /

noun

Also called: cowhand a hired man who herds and tends cattle, usually on horseback, esp in the western US
a conventional character of Wild West folklore, films, etc, esp one involved in fighting Indians
informal
  1. a person who is an irresponsible or unscrupulous operator in business
  2. (as modifier)cowboy contractors; cowboy shop steward
Australian a man or boy who tends cattle

Derived Forms

cowgirl, fem n
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