[vah-kair-oh; Spanish bah-ke-raw]

noun, plural va·que·ros [vah-kair-ohz; Spanish bah-ke-raws] /vɑˈkɛər oʊz; Spanish bɑˈkɛ rɔs/. Southwestern U.S.

a cowboy or herdsman.

Origin of vaquero

1790–1800; < Spanish, equivalent to vac(a) cow (< Latin vacca) + -ero < Latin -ārius -ary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vaquero

Historical Examples of vaquero

  • Accordingly, the vaquero was directed to look after the mules while Frank and Joe went to work with pick, shovel, and pan.

    Digging for Gold

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • The vaquero was barely in time to escape those terrible hoofs.

    The Texan Scouts

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Prodding his belly persistently, the vaquero followed him back, step by step.

    The Wolf Cub

    Patrick Casey

  • Next week a vaquero galloped home to the Twin Star ranch with a bullet through his leg.


    William MacLeod Raine

  • He was my vaquero horse, and many a cowboy stopped and looked as I rode by.

    The Wedge of Gold

    C. C. Goodwin

Word Origin and History for vaquero

1826, from Spanish, literally "cowboy," from vaca "cow," from Latin vacca (see vaccination).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper