Know Your Next Word : maverick

4. maverick :

noun & adjective :

nonconformist, a rebel

usage :

  • The word maverick originated in the Old West. It is derived from the name of Samuel A. Maverick, a Texas banker who once accepted a herd of cattle in payment of a debt. Maverick was a banker, not a rancher. He failed to confine or brand his calves, which habitually wandered into his neighbors' pastures. Local ranchers got in the habit of referring to any unbranded calf as a maverick. The word is now used for anyone who has refused to be branded - who has refused to conform.

  • The political scientist was an intellectual maverick. Most of his theories had no followers except himself.

  • Maverick can also be an adjective.

  • The maverick police officer got in trouble with the department for using illegal means to track down criminals.

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