Meaning of cowboy

cow•boy

Pronunciation: (kou'boi"), [key]
— n.
  1. a man who herds and tends cattle on a ranch, esp. 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, esp. in rodeos.
  3. a reckless or speedy automobile driver.
  4. a reckless or irresponsible person, esp. 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.
—v.i.
  1. to work as a cowboy.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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