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outlaw, law-abider, citizen, conformist


Competition and Rivalry, Chasms and Carnage, Drama and Overreaction, Crime and Lawlessness



How to pronounce desperado (audio)


Dictionary definition of desperado

An outlaw or a lawless individual who is often marked by a disregard for societal norms and a tendency towards violence or reckless behavior.
"The sheriff embarked on a dangerous pursuit of the notorious desperado."

Detailed meaning of desperado

It is commonly associated with the American Wild West era and conjures up images of bandits, outlaws, or renegades. A desperado is typically someone who operates outside the boundaries of the law, engaging in criminal activities such as robbery, horse theft, or gunfights. The term carries a connotation of danger, audacity, and a willingness to defy authority. Desperados are often portrayed as rugged and fearless individuals who live on the fringes of society, evoking a sense of both fear and fascination. While historically associated with the American West, the term "desperado" can also be used more broadly to describe lawbreakers or outlaws in other contexts.

Example sentences containing desperado

1. The old Western movie showcased a clash between the heroic cowboy and the ruthless desperado.
2. The town's people lived in fear of the desperado who terrorized their community.
3. Legends were born around the deeds of the notorious desperado of the Wild West.
4. The bank robber was known as a notorious desperado, always one step ahead of the law.
5. The sheriff warned the citizens to stay vigilant and report any sightings of the desperado.
6. The tales of the desperado's daring escapes and audacious crimes spread throughout the region.

History and etymology of desperado

The noun 'desperado' has a fascinating etymology that reflects its association with individuals who are often on the fringes of societal norms. It has its roots in Spanish, specifically the word 'desesperado,' which is the past participle of 'desesperar,' meaning 'to despair' or 'to give in to hopelessness.' This term was used to describe individuals who had reached such a state of despair that they had nothing to lose, and often engaged in reckless or criminal behavior as a result. When it was adopted into English, 'desperado' retained this sense of an outlaw or lawless individual who exhibits a disregard for societal norms and is inclined toward violence or reckless behavior, capturing the idea that they have little regard for the consequences of their actions due to their desperate circumstances or mindset.

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Further usage examples of desperado

1. The outlaw rode into town like a desperado, causing chaos wherever he went.
2. The sheriff's posse set out on a perilous journey to capture the elusive desperado.
3. The wanted posters displayed the face of the dangerous desperado, offering a hefty reward for his capture.
4. The desperado's gang grew in numbers as he recruited more individuals with a taste for lawlessness.
5. The law-abiding citizens rejoiced when the desperado was finally apprehended and brought to justice.
6. The sheriff faced off against the desperado in an epic showdown at high noon.
7. The desperado's reputation as a quick draw and a skilled marksman made him a feared adversary.
8. The desperate townsfolk took matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante group to confront the desperado.
9. The desperado's hideout was deep in the heart of the rugged canyon, making it difficult for the authorities to reach him.
10. The desperado was known for leaving his signature calling card at the scenes of his crimes.
11. The desperado's daring train robbery made headlines across the country.
12. The desperado's life of crime ultimately led to a tragic end, gunned down in a final confrontation with the law.
13. The town's residents breathed a collective sigh of relief when the reign of the desperado finally came to an end.
14. The sheriff led a posse to capture the notorious desperado.
15. The wild west was known for its fearless desperados.
16. The town lived in fear of the ruthless desperado gang.
17. The desperado's wanted poster was posted all over town.
18. A lone desperado rode into the dusty frontier town.
19. The saloon cleared out when the drunken desperado entered.
20. The sheriff's deputy finally apprehended the elusive desperado.
21. The desperado's hideout was hidden deep in the desert.
22. The bank robbery was the work of a cunning desperado.
23. The desperado's quick draw was legendary in the region.
24. The desperado's reign of terror finally came to an end.

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