To see details on the word
please enable javascript.


Desperados would not be troubled by such niceties.
  a bold outlaw — especially from the American old west
 Mark word for later review on this computer
desperado desperados desperadoes
The term comes from an old Spanish word meaning "desperate person" (desesperado in modern Spanish).
Web Links:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Dictionary -®
Dictionary/Synonyms - Google®
Dictionary List - OneLook®
  • Desperados would not be troubled by such niceties.
  • Surely this was the face of a desperado.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • At last she come and begun to ask me questions, but I COULDN’T answer them straight, I didn’t know which end of me was up; because these men was in such a fidget now that some was wanting to start right NOW and lay for them desperadoes, and saying it warn’t but a few minutes to midnight; and others was trying to get them to hold on and wait for the sheep-signal; and here was Aunty pegging away at the questions, and me a-shaking all over and ready to sink down in my tracks I was that…
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The next day, up in the more affluent North Division, Jonas Hutchinson was numbed by the spectacle he beheld: "As far as the fire reached, the city is thronged with desperadoes who are plundering and trying to set new fires….
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire

  • Show more
  • They are ragtag desperadoes with nothing to lose.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • The whole gang of sailors, likewise, observing the press of spectators, and learning the purport of the scarlet letter, came and thrust their sunburnt and desperado-looking faces into the ring.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • Were there other ex-convicts at large, like Archie, murderers, desperadoes, thieves, pardoned for their crimes, in the name of the Confederacy?
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • 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.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Surely this was the face of a desperado.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • I took to wearing the strap across my chest, the drum riding my hips like a desperado’s revolver.
    Julia Alvarez  --  How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

  • Show more again
  • You reckon he thinks we’re desperados? I dont know.
    Cormac McCarthy  --  All the Pretty Horses
  • If he was to tell about this, our reputation as desperados would be ruint forever.
    Larry McMurtry  --  Lonesome Dove
  • Clem Tambow, Jimmy’s cousin, had a healthy laugh on us for the debate on burning down the store and the other desperado proposals.
    Saul Bellow  --  The Adventures of Augie March
  • Desperadoes, he says, desperadoes.
    Frank McCourt  --  Angela’s Ashes
  • 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.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Treasure Island
  • But I did not know her brother or the desperadoes who risked their lives on these ventures.
    Betty Mahmoody  --  Not Without My Daughter
  • He gave me a look that linked us as spiritual allies, resolute desperadoes in headlong flight from the false and sinister veneer of Charleston.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • He asked himself what it signified to him whether Isabel’s admirers should be desperadoes or laggards; they were not rivals of his and were perfectly welcome to act out their genius.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • Though unusual in the Dublin area he knew that it was not by any means unknown for desperadoes who had next to nothing to live on to be abroad waylaying and generally terrorising peaceable pedestrians by placing a pistol at their head in some secluded spot outside the city proper, famished loiterers of the Thames embankment category they might be hanging about there or simply marauders ready to decamp with whatever boodle they could in one fell swoop at a moment’s notice, your money or…
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • These men lined up before Duane, and as he coolly regarded them he thought they could have been recognized anywhere as desperadoes.
    Zane Grey  --  The Lone Star Ranger
  • Out there, somewhere, lived desperados, robbers, road-agents, murderers.
    Zane Grey  --  The Border Legion
  • The walls are lined with illuminated signs, each one bearing the image of some Old West desperado.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • At Monticello Shefford stood off a band of desperadoes, and this time Shefford experienced a strange, sickening shock in the wounding of a man.
    Zane Grey  --  The Rainbow Trail
  • "I said you was a low-down, drunken cow-puncher, a tough as damn near a desperado as we ever hed on the border," went on Hawe, deliberately.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • Flat out through the Anatolian flatlands and down the townless, lightless country toward the sea, hellbent for water, knowing now the full meaning of desperado.
    Tim O’Brien  --  Going After Cacciato
  • Oedipa, sensitized, thinking of the bronze marker, smiled at him as granddaughterly as she knew how and asked, "Did he ever have to fight off desperados?"
    Thomas Pynchon  --  The Crying of Lot 49
  • Helen remembered hearing her uncle say that a real Westerner hated nothing so hard as the swaggering desperado, the make-believe gunman who pretended to sail under the true, wild, and reckoning colors of the West.
    Zane Grey  --  The Man of the Forest
  • Among them were numerous names of strange objects: /lariat/, /lasso/, /ranch/, /loco/ (weed), /mustang/, /sombrero/, /canyon/, /desperado/, /poncho/, /chapparel/, /corral/, /broncho/, /plaza/, [Pg087] /peon/, /cayuse/, /burro/, /mesa/, /tornado/, /sierra/ and /adobe/.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • They walked in step, jangling their fetters— lost souls, desperadoes who filled one’s heart with terror.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • When the civilised World-Market coveted a country not yet in its clutches, some transparent pretext was found—the suppression of a slavery different from and not so cruel as that of commerce; the pushing of a religion no longer believed in by its promoters; the ’rescue’ of some desperado or homicidal madman whose misdeeds had got him into trouble amongst the natives of the ’barbarous’ country—any stick, in short, which would beat the dog at all.
    William Morris  --  News from Nowhere
  • In that sense, we who scratch in the dust are desperadoes and outlaws, and our lives are tremendously exciting.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • Outlaws, ex-soldiers, adventurers, desperadoes, tenderfeet, plainsmen, and pioneers looking for new ground, and farmers out on a hunt to make money.
    Zane Grey  --  The Thundering Herd
  • He asked himself what it signified to him whether Isabel’s admirers should be desperadoes or laggards; they were not rivals of his and were perfectly welcome to act out their genius.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • Ignorant, restless desperadoes, without conscience or principles, have led a deluded multitude to follow their standard under pretense of grievances which have no existence but in their imaginations.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • He would rob a man as if only to demonstrate his poor opinion of the creature, and he would bring to the shooting or maiming of some quiet, unoffending stranger a savage and vengeful earnestness fit to terrify the most reckless of desperadoes.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Lord Jim
  • Bryan thought of Wyatt Earp, of Doc Holliday and the desperadoes who had once ridden through town, but she’d been drawn to the street parade that might’ve been in Anytown, U.S.A. It was here, caught up in the pageantry and the flavor, that she’d asked Shade his opinion of the right angle for shooting a horse and rider, and he in turn had taken her advice on capturing a tiny, bespangled majorette.
    Nora Roberts  --  Summer Pleasures
  • (And Perry could remember many another rodeo spectacle-see again his father skipping about inside a circle of spinning lassos, or his mother, with silver and turquoise bangles jangling on her wrists, trick-riding at a desperado speed that thrilled her youngest child and caused crowds in towns from Texas to Oregon to "stand up and clap.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • 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.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • You do look like some kind of desperado, John Grady said.
    Cormac McCarthy  --  All the Pretty Horses
  • He was a typical Texas desperado, had never been anything else.
    Zane Grey  --  The Lone Star Ranger
  • She was no girl to be dragged into the mountain fastness by a desperado and made a plaything.
    Zane Grey  --  The Border Legion
  • Like so many desperadoes of his ilk, he was victim of a passion to kill for the sake of killing.
    Zane Grey  --  The Lone Star Ranger
  • Six or seven of the desperado class remained behind, bent on mischief; and they were reinforced by more arrivals from Stonebridge.
    Zane Grey  --  The Rainbow Trail
  • And is that nice Mr. Nels a desperado, too?
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • They were bandits, desperados, murderers, lost, but each remembered in her a mother or a sister.
    Zane Grey  --  The Border Legion
  • Kells threw up both hands as if it was useless to argue or reason with this desperado.
    Zane Grey  --  The Border Legion
  • Desperadoes, he says, desperadoes.
    Frank McCourt  --  Angela’s Ashes
  • The bloody little desperado smiled cheerfully, and he dropped his right hand down to the butt of his gun.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • There were desperados whose glittering eyes showed they had no gold with which to gamble.
    Zane Grey  --  The Border Legion
Search for samples from other sources:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Interest -- Source
General -- Google News®
General -- Time® Magazine
General -- Twitter®
Associated words [difficulty]:   desperado [5]
     If popups are enabled: Search in OneLook®   If Flash® is also enabled: Search in Visuwords®
Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, History, Sports
Home . . . enhancing vocabulary while reading