Dictionary.com

cowboy

[ kou-boi ]
/ ˈkaʊˌbɔɪ /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: cowboy / cowboys on Thesaurus.com

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.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of cowboy

First recorded in 1715–25; cow1 + boy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences 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 of cowboy

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
Tired of Typos? Get Help Now!