former term for the Western Apaches, from Spanish, literally "foolish;" probably a translation of a name given to the people by other branches of the Apache, e.g. Chiricahua Apache /bini:'édiné/, Mescalero Apache /bini:'édinendé/, both literally "people without minds," and used to designate the Western Apaches. Spanish tonto is said to be originally a nursery word, used for its sound.
Examples from the Web for tonto
And naturally, Tonto comes to life when he sees the young boy so he can tell story of John Reid, the Lone Ranger.
The writers try to explain his mannerisms by revealing that Tonto has an intense guilt complex.
It wasn't wild turkey that might have been shot by Tonto, neither was it game that might have been found in the woods.
He says there was a fight the first day out; another when they struck Tonto Creek, and two soldiers were killed.Tonio, Son of the Sierras|Charles King
Tonto did, however, answer many questions that had bothered the masked man when he explained how he happened to find the cave.
When Tonto finished his narration, Yuma broke in impatiently.
The king entered his tent to rest a moment, when the sight of Rachimburg reminded him of Tonto.Laboulaye's Fairy Book|Various