follow Dictionary.com

Do you know ghouls from goblins and ghosts?

desperado

[des-puh-rah-doh, -rey-] /ˌdɛs pəˈrɑ doʊ, -ˈreɪ-/
noun, plural desperadoes, desperados.
1.
a bold, reckless criminal or outlaw, especially in the early days of the American West.
Origin
1600-1610
1600-10; probably pseudo-Spanish alteration of desperate (as noun, now obsolete), in same sense
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for desperado
  • Payne is described as a worthless loafer and desperado.
  • When he and his band caught up with the outlaw group, they slayed the desperado after a ferocious gunfight.
British Dictionary definitions for desperado

desperado

/ˌdɛspəˈrɑːdəʊ/
noun (pl) -does, -dos
1.
a reckless or desperate person, esp one ready to commit any violent illegal act
Word Origin
C17: probably pseudo-Spanish variant of obsolete desperate (n) a reckless character
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for desperado
n.

c.1600, "a person in despair," mock-Spanish version of desperate (n.) "reckless criminal" (1560s), from Latin desperatus (see desperation). There was an adjective desperado in Old Spanish, meaning "out of hope, desperate," but apparently it never was used as a noun and it probably has nothing to do with the English word. Meaning "a desperate or reckless man" is recorded from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for desperado

desperado

noun

A person who gambles or borrows more than he can pay, and is certain to default, or who gambles with money he cannot afford to lose •Such money is called desperate or scared

[1950s+ Gambling; fr earlier desperado, ''outlaw, fugitive,'' literally ''desperate man,'' fr Spanish]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for desperado

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for desperado

13
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with desperado