[roh-dee-oh, roh-dey-oh]
See more synonyms for rodeo on
noun, plural ro·de·os.
  1. a public exhibition of cowboy skills, as bronco riding and calf roping.
  2. a roundup of cattle.
  3. Informal. any contest offering prizes in various events: a bicycle rodeo for kids under twelve.
  4. (initial capital letter, italics) a ballet (1942) choreographed by Agnes de Mille, with musical score by Aaron Copland.
verb (used without object), ro·de·oed, ro·de·o·ing.
  1. to participate or compete in a rodeo or rodeos: He's been rodeoing since he was twelve.

Origin of rodeo

1825–35; < Spanish: cattle ring, derivative of rodear to go round, itself derivative of rueda wheel < Latin rota
Related formsro·de·o·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rodeo

festival, roundup, exhibition, competition, enclosure

Examples from the Web for rodeo

Contemporary Examples of rodeo

Historical Examples of rodeo

  • This native was Rodeo, the brother of the true Pacheco, and he is here.

  • Rodeo stepped forward, bowing with the politeness of a Spanish don.

  • You've had the spring rodeo in your hands ever since I can remember.

    The Man Next Door

    Emerson Hough

  • They got up at four, because they had seen signs advertising a rodeo at Magdalena.

    Beginners Luck

    Emily Hahn

  • To the boys the rodeo was the most interesting time of the whole year.

    History of California

    Helen Elliott Bandini

British Dictionary definitions for rodeo


noun plural -os mainly US and Canadian
  1. a display of the skills of cowboys, including bareback riding, steer wrangling, etc
  2. the rounding up of cattle for branding, counting, inspection, etc
  3. an enclosure for cattle that have been rounded up

Word Origin for rodeo

C19: from Spanish, from rodear to go around, from rueda a wheel, from Latin rota
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 rodeo

1914 as public entertainment show of horse-riding skill, from earlier meaning "cattle round-up" (1834), from Spanish rodeo, "pen for cattle at a fair or market," literally "a going round," from rodear "go round, surround," related to rodare "revolve, roll," from Latin rotare "go around" (see rotary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper