1. a sudden, frenzied rush or headlong flight of a herd of frightened animals, especially cattle or horses.
  2. any headlong general flight or rush.
  3. Western U.S., Canada. a celebration, usually held annually, combining a rodeo, contests, exhibitions, dancing, etc.
verb (used without object), stam·ped·ed, stam·ped·ing.
  1. to scatter or flee in a stampede: People stampeded from the burning theater.
  2. to make a general rush: On hearing of the sale, they stampeded to the store.
verb (used with object), stam·ped·ed, stam·ped·ing.
  1. to cause to stampede.
  2. to rush or overrun (a place): Customers stampeded the stores.

Origin of stampede

1815–25, Americanism; < American Spanish estampida, Spanish, equivalent to estamp(ar) to stamp + -ida noun suffix
Related formsstam·ped·er, nounun·stam·ped·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stampeder

Historical Examples of stampeder

  • She is called a good "stampeder," has a pleasant, smiling face, but is usually designated "notorious."

    A Woman who went to Alaska

    May Kellogg Sullivan

  • The next creek to the south—Blackwood's,—is named after still another Squaw Valley stampeder.

    The Lake of the Sky

    George Wharton James

British Dictionary definitions for stampeder


  1. an impulsive headlong rush of startled cattle or horses
  2. headlong rush of a crowda stampede of shoppers
  3. any sudden large-scale movement or other action, such as a rush of people to support a candidate
  4. Western US and Canadian a rodeo event featuring fairground and social elements
  1. to run away or cause to run away in a stampede
Derived Formsstampeder, noun

Word Origin for stampede

C19: from American Spanish estampida, from Spanish: a din, from estampar to stamp, of Germanic origin; see stamp
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 stampeder



1828, from Mexican Spanish estampida, from Spanish, "an uproar," from estamper "to stamp, press, pound," from the same Germanic root that yielded English stamp (v.). The political sense is first recorded 1846. As the name of an annual exhibition of cowboy skills in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, it is attested from 1912.



1823; see stampede (n.). Related: Stampeded; stampeding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper