Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small, hardy wild horse of the North American plains, descended from Arabian horses brought to America by Spanish explorers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small, hardy, naturalized (feral) horse of the North American west.
  • n. A merchant marine who joined the U.S. Navy as a commissioned officer during the American Civil War.
  • n. A commissioned officer who started military service as an enlisted person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The half-wild horse of the plains in Mexico, California, etc. It is small, hardy, and easily sustained.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The wild horse of the pampas and prairies of America.
  • n. An officer of the United States navy who entered the regular service from the merchant service after serving through the civil war, instead of graduating from the Naval Academy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small hardy range horse of the western plains descended from horses brought by the Spanish

Etymologies

American Spanish mesteño, mestengo, stray animal, from Old Spanish, from mesta, association of livestock owners, from Medieval Latin (animālia) mixta, assorted (animals), from Latin, neuter pl. past participle of miscēre, to mix; see meik- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Mexican Spanish mestengo, from Spanish mesteño ("feral animal"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • The North American Aviation P-51, a classic World War II fighter. More on Wikipedia.

    December 30, 2008