- ☆ a ranch worker who rides horseback much of the time on his job of herding and tending cattle
- ☆ a performer in a rodeo or Wild West show
- ☆ a conventionalized character in novels, motion pictures, etc., typically an adventurous Westerner who rides horseback and carries pistols
- ☆ Informal a man regarded variously as being bold, daring, independent, etc. or brash, reckless, out of control, etc.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A hired man, especially in the western United States, who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on horseback. Also called cowman, cowpoke, cowpuncher; also called regionally buckaroo, vaquero, waddy2. See Regional Note at vaquero.
- An adventurous hero.
- Slang A reckless person, such as a driver, pilot, or manager, who ignores potential risks.