AskDefine | Define desperado

Dictionary Definition

desperado n : a bold outlaw (especially on the American frontier) [syn: desperate criminal] [also: desperadoes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Spanish desperado, past participle of desperar, from Latin disperare, “despair”, “lose hope”, from prefix dis- + sperare, “hope”.


  1. a bold outlaw, especially one from southern portions of the Wild West



  • 1918, Willa Cather, My Antonia, Mirado Modern Classics, paperback edition, page 6
    Surely this was the face of a desperado.

Extensive Definition

Desperado ('desperate' in Spanish — this is an old and now incorrect usage of the word, today desesperado is the right word) means a person who cannot wait for something to happen, and sometimes may recur to violent or reckless actions.

See also

External links

desperado in French: Desperado
desperado in Korean: 데스페라도
desperado in Italian: Desperado
desperado in Dutch: Desperado
desperado in Japanese: デスペラード
desperado in Norwegian: Desperado
desperado in Russian: Desperado
desperado in Swedish: Desperado

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Cain, Judas, apache, assassin, assassinator, badman, bandit, betrayer, bloodletter, bloodshedder, bravo, bucko, bully, bullyboy, burker, butcher, button man, cannibal, convict, criminal, crook, cutthroat, deceiver, desperate criminal, devil, double-dealer, eradicator, executioner, exterminator, felon, fugitive, gallows bird, gangster, gaolbird, garroter, gorilla, gun, gunman, gunsel, hatchet man, head-hunter, hell-raiser, hellcat, hit man, homicidal maniac, homicide, jailbird, killer, lawbreaker, mad dog, man-eater, man-killer, manslayer, massacrer, matador, mobster, murderer, outlaw, pesticide, poison, poisoner, public enemy, quisling, racketeer, rough, rowdy, ruffian, scofflaw, slaughterer, slayer, strangler, swindler, thief, thug, torpedo, traitor, trigger man, two-timer
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