(Sp. model spelled same [kabéstro] < Latin capistrum 'halter')
   1) DARE: 1805. Originally a halter or tether made of a hair rope. Watts notes that its original meaning was broadened to refer to any hair rope, or even to a reata, which is generally a rope made of rawhide. This last application is not widespread, however, and can be confusing, since cabestro is often used to distinguish a rope made of hair from one made of rawhide or leather. The DRAE defines cabestro as a halter that is tied to the head or neck of a horse to lead or secure it. Islas's definition differs from the DRAE's in that the horsehair cabestro need not be attached to a halter. According to Islas, it is the term most commonly used in Mexico to refer to a twisted horsehair rope used to restrain, lead, or train a horse. Its length is variable—it may be some sixteen feet long and serve as a halter, or about twenty feet long and function as a double-rein, or from twenty-six to thirty-three feet long and serve as a "false rein" (or halter and headstall used when breaking a horse). The thickness of the cabestro or cabresto also varies, depending on the function of the rope. Santamaría concurs with Islas, noting that cabresto is so common in Mexico that cabestro sounds strange to the ear. He cites Salvá as saying that cabresto is an antiquated form that appears in writing in the sixteenth century. (Linguistically, the fact that the /r/ appears to move from one syllable to the next and forms a consonant cluster with /b/ or /t/ is known as metathesis. Such variation is common in popularly transmitted forms and is evidenced in the history of both Spanish and English.) Cobos indicates that in New Mexico and southern Colorado cabresto can refer to a rope in general.
   Alternate forms: cabarista, cabaros, caberes, caberos, caboras, caboris, cabras, cabrass, cabressa, cabresse, cabresta, cabresto, cabris, cavraces.
   2) According to Smith, cabestro can also refer to "one who might be led around by the nose." Spanish sources do not reference this term as a noun that can be applied to a person. However, the DRAE references cabestrear and Santamaría references cabrestear as verbs meaning to lead an animal around with a cabestro or cabresto. Santamaría indicates that the verb form can be used figuratively to lead a person "by the nose" or to coerce him or her to do something against his or her will. According to the DRAE, llevar/traer del cabestro a alguien has the same figurative meaning in Spain.

Cowboy Talk. A Dictionary of Spanish Terms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • cabestro — {{#}}{{LM C06369}}{{〓}} {{SynC06512}} {{[}}cabestro{{]}} ‹ca·bes·tro› {{《}}▍ s.m.{{》}} Buey manso que suele llevar cencerro y que sirve de guía a las reses bravas: • Soltaron los cabestros para llevar al toro de la plaza.{{○}}… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

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  • cabestro — sustantivo masculino dogal, ramal, ronzal. * * * Sinónimos: ■ ronzal, brida, cuerda ■ dogal, bozal, bozo ■ manso, castrado …   Diccionario de sinónimos y antónimos

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  • cabestro — ca·bes·tro …   English syllables

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