desperado


Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

des·per·a·do

 (dĕs′pə-rä′dō, -rā′-)
n. pl. des·per·a·does or des·per·a·dos
A bold or desperate outlaw, especially of the American frontier.

[Probably from Spanish desperado, desesperado, desperate person, from past participle of desesperar, to despair, from Latin dēspērāre; see despair.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

desperado

(ˌdɛspəˈrɑːdəʊ)
n, pl -does or -dos
a reckless or desperate person, esp one ready to commit any violent illegal act
[C17: probably pseudo-Spanish variant of obsolete desperate (n) a reckless character]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

des•per•a•do

(ˌdɛs pəˈrɑ doʊ, -ˈreɪ-)

n., pl. -does, -dos.
a bold, reckless criminal or outlaw, esp. in the early days of the American West.
[1600–10]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.desperado - a bold outlaw (especially on the American frontier)desperado - a bold outlaw (especially on the American frontier)
U.S.A., United States, United States of America, US, USA, America, the States, U.S. - North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean; achieved independence in 1776
criminal, crook, felon, malefactor, outlaw - someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

desperado

noun criminal, thug, outlaw, villain, gangster, gunman, bandit, mugger (informal), cut-throat, hoodlum (chiefly U.S.), ruffian, wise guy (U.S.), face (Brit. slang), heavy (slang), lawbreaker, skelm (S. African) The judge described him as a `wicked desperado' and jailed him for life.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
Translations

desperado

[ˌdespəˈrɑːdəʊ] N (desperado(e)s (pl)) → bandido m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

desperado

[ˌdɛspəˈrɑːdəʊ] [desperados] (pl) ndesperado m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

desperado

n pl <-(e)s> → Desperado m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

desperado

[ˌdɛspəˈrɑːdəʊ] n (old) → bandito
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
There is nothing like the perils of whaling to breed this free and easy sort of genial, desperado philosophy; and with it I now regarded this whole voyage of the Pequod, and the great White Whale its object.
Surely this was the face of a desperado. As he walked about the platform in his high-heeled boots, looking for our trunks, I saw that he was a rather slight man, quick and wiry, and light on his feet.
From an Alaskan hero he was metamorphosed into an Alaskan bully, liar, desperado, and all around "bad Man." Not content with this, lies upon lies, out of whole cloth, were manufactured about him.
A whale wounded (as we afterwards learned) in this part, but not effectually, as it seemed, had broken away from the boat, carrying along with him half of the harpoon line; and in the extraordinary agony of the wound, he was now dashing among the revolving circles like the lone mounted desperado Arnold, at the battle of Saratoga, carrying dismay wherever he went.
Pure I came to him whom Heaven bestowed upon me, pure I shall leave him; and at the worst bathed in my own chaste blood and in the foul blood of the falsest friend that friendship ever saw in the world;" and as she uttered these words she paced the room holding the unsheathed dagger, with such irregular and disordered steps, and such gestures that one would have supposed her to have lost her senses, and taken her for some violent desperado instead of a delicate woman.
Taken so horribly unawares, even Raffles must fall an easy prey to a desperado in resource and courage scarcely second to himself, but one whom he had fatally underrated from the beginning.
This was no calumny, and yet I remember well, somewhere far back in the late seventies, that the crew of that ship were, if anything, rather proud of her evil fame, as if they had been an utterly corrupt lot of desperadoes glorying in their association with an atrocious creature.
And now I began to feel that I was neglecting my business, that since I had been so foolhardy as to come ashore with these desperadoes, the least I could do was to overhear them at their councils, and that my plain and obvious duty was to draw as close as I could manage, under the favourable ambush of the crouching trees.
He fought with a savage abandon, and a vicious cruelty fully equal to that of his fellow desperadoes. Achmet Zek watched his recruit with eagle eye, and with a growing satisfaction which finally found expression in a greater confidence in the man, and resulted in an increased independence of action for Werper.
They were rough-looking desperadoes, with sun-blackened faces, and an immensity of beard; their wide short trousers were confined about the waist by belts, often clasped with a rough plate of gold, and sustaining always a long knife, and in some instances, a sword.
- Ceremonials on Passing It.- Signs of Indian War Parties.- Magnificent Prospect at Papillion Creek.- Desertion of Two Hunters.An Irruption Into the Camp of Indian Desperadoes.- Village of the Omahas.-A necdotes of the Tribe.- Feudal Wars of the Indians.-Story of Blackbird, the Famous Omaha Chief.
When Captain Sublette arrived, he urged to penetrate the swamp and storm the fort, but all hung back in awe of the dismal horrors of the place, and the danger of attacking such desperadoes in their savage den.