cowboy

[kou-boi]
noun
1.
a man who herds and tends cattle on a ranch, especially in the western U.S., and who traditionally goes about most of his work on horseback.
2.
a man who exhibits the skills attributed to such cowboys, especially in rodeos.
3.
Chiefly Northeastern U.S. a reckless or speedy automobile driver.
4.
Informal. a reckless or irresponsible person, especially a show-off or one who undertakes a dangerous or sensitive task heedlessly: They put foreign policy in the hands of cowboys.
5.
(during the American Revolution) a member of a pro-British guerrilla band that operated between the American and British lines near New York City.
verb (used without object)
6.
to work as a cowboy.

Origin:
1715–25; cow1 + boy

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cowboy (ˈkaʊˌbɔɪ)
 
n
1.  Also called: cowhand a hired man who herds and tends cattle, usually on horseback, esp in the western US
2.  a conventional character of Wild West folklore, films, etc, esp one involved in fighting Indians
3.  informal
 a.  a person who is an irresponsible or unscrupulous operator in business
 b.  (as modifier): cowboy contractors; cowboy shop steward
4.  (Austral) a man or boy who tends cattle
 
'cowgirl
 
fem n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cowboy
1725, "boy who tends to cows," from cow + boy. Sense in Western U.S. is from 1849; fig. use by 1942 for "brash and reckless young man" (as an adj. meaning "reckless," from 1920s). Cowhand is first attested 1852 in Amer.Eng. Cowpoke (1881) was originally
restricted to the cowboys who prodded cattle onto railroad cars with long poles.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for cowboys
These were carried by cowboys, lawmen, and others in the old west.
In addition to ranch work, some cowboys work for or participate in rodeos.
A roundup required a number of specialized skills on the part of both cowboys
  and horses.
Early cowboys both worked on ranches and displayed their skills at the roundups.
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