To cause (a crowd of people) to act on mass impulse.
To flee in a headlong rush.
To act on mass impulse.
Origin: Spanish estampida, uproar, stampede, from Provençal, from estampir, to stamp, of Germanic origin.
Word History: The Spanish word estampida, meaning “explosion, bang, crash, uproar,” seems a vivid term to describe a sudden rush of animals, such as buffaloes or cattle, and was first so used in American Spanish. From this use came our word stampede (actually from the Spanish estampido, a masculine noun corresponding to the feminine estampida, first recorded in 1828). Thus stampede, now a general English word, is an Americanism, a word or expression that originated in the United States. The United States was later to see stampedes of miners rushing westward to find gold. Not surprisingly, an early instance of the application of this word to humans is found in the San Francisco Herald in 1851.