Definition of badman in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbadman/


  • 1US A desperado, a gunman, an outlaw, a violent or ruthless criminal; a villain.

    The specifically use is not always distinguishable from the transparent collocation bad man, even in the pioneer and frontier contexts (especially the Wild West) with which this use is chiefly associated.

  • 2US, Caribbean A man who is (or purports to be) dangerous or menacing to a degree that inspires respect or admiration; a tough, combative, or uncompromising man.

    Now frequently in British usage, especially in Multicultural London English.


Mid 19th century. From bad + man, after Spanish mal hombre bad person, hence (now especially in American Spanish) villain, criminal.