A desperado is an outlaw that you'd see in an old Western or in the Wild West. Think spurs, horses, and hip holsters— and a desperado with a cowboy hat on his head and a bandana tied around his face.
You probably know the common word desperate. A hundred years ago, the word wasn’t just an adjective — it was also a noun. A desperate was someone in despair, someone in a desperate situation. And the American frontier was full of such people, people who had gone West to find gold but missed out on a big payoff. Desperado has the same meaning as the noun desperate, but with a Spanish influence.