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[vah-kair-oh; Spanish bah-ke-raw] /vɑˈkɛər oʊ; Spanish bɑˈkɛ rɔ/
noun, plural vaqueros
[vah-kair-ohz; Spanish bah-ke-raws] /vɑˈkɛər oʊz; Spanish bɑˈkɛ rɔs/ (Show IPA).
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vaquero
Historical Examples
  • But there was no danger of Guapo's friend the vaquero committing this blunder.

  • The vaquero, therefore, did all in his power to make his guests comfortable for the night.

    The Forest Exiles Mayne Reid
  • And evidently something did, for the priest ate like a vaquero off the ranges.

    For the Soul of Rafael Marah Ellis Ryan
  • The vaquero with his horse soon dragged the vicuñas to the hut.

    The Forest Exiles Mayne Reid
  • But he appeared to be lighter of hair and complexion, and was dressed differently, and more like a vaquero.

  • Another interval of silence succeeded to the narrative of the vaquero.

    Wood Rangers Mayne Reid
  • The vaquero staggered as he rose; his eyes were bloodshot, his lips blue; his whole body trembled.

    The Bee Hunters Gustave Aimard
  • In half-an-hour after, with the vaquero for my guide, I rode quietly out of the rancheria.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • A young Mexican vaquero trailed softly behind them, the inevitable cigarette between his lips.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • I am a vaquero, and here I reside; Show me the broncho I cannot ride.

    Cowboy Songs Various
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
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