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From bush +‎ ranger.


bushranger (plural bushrangers)

  1. (Australia, historical) A convict or outlaw who escapes to the bush to avoid capture; a roving bandit who lives in the bush.
    • 1892, Henry Parkes, Fifty Years in the Making of Australian History[1], volume 1, page 217:
      We each discharged a shot in the direction of the explosion by the bushrangers, for we had no other guide in aiming, owing to the night being so very dark, which was rendered denser by the mizzling rain which had been falling all day.
    • 2003, Sharon Morgan, Land Settlement in Early Tasmania: Creating an Antipodean England[2], page 131:
      The retribution for those who failed to help bushrangers could be severe. Thomas Kenton was imprisoned in 1825, accused of having allowed Matthew Brady to escape, but was later murdered by the bushranger as an informer.28
    • 2010, John Hirst, Looking for Australia[3], page 82:
      The live-and-let-live attitude hampered the police in tracking bushrangers. A few squatters like John Walsh gave the bushrangers active support, but the police were thwarted as much by the unwillingness of landowners generally to report what they knew about the bushrangers or to take any active steps against them.
  2. (Australia, obsolete) A person skilled in bushcraft.
    • 1824, The Australian, quoted in 1966, Sidney J. Baker, The Australian Language, 2nd edition, chapter II section 2, page 31,
      Mr Hovell lacks all the qualities befitting a bushranger.