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Maverick

Maverick is a word that was derived from the name of a person. We will examine the meaning of the word maverick, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A maverick is a person who is independently-minded, a person who goes his own way and does not mindlessly follow the dictates of others. The original meaning of the word maverick is an unbranded cow, bull or steer. In the days of the open range in the United States, cattle were often born in the open and were not branded until roundup time. A particular rancher in Texas in the mid-1800s was named Samuel Augustus Maverick, and he was notorious for not branding his cattle. At roundup time, the unbranded cattle in the area were often attributed to him, and called mavericks. In fact, it was perfectly legal to take ownership of any unbranded cattle and brand it as one’s own during this time, and it was only the good graces of his fellow ranchers that afforded any cattle to Samuel Maverick. Today, Maverick is sometimes seen as a male given name. Maverick may be used as a noun or as an adjective.

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Examples

A maverick federal judge could deliver a surprise verdict in a landmark Minnesota sex offender case next month. (The Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

The centennial of Lou Harrison — maverick American composer, instrument inventor, pacifist and gay pioneer — was celebrated with a joyous concert at Trinity Church, featuring a fine choir and impressive percussion ensemble from Rutgers University. (The New York Times)

As it has been well written about throughout the years, there were millions of maverick cattle roaming Texas after the War Between the States. (The Bandera County Courier)

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