Definition of corral in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Gather together and confine (a group of people or things)

    ‘the organizers were corralling the crowd into marching formation’
    • ‘Someone thought to go check out the bathroom but I already had my coat on and was corralling my parents out to the car.’
    • ‘Cars, which run on a vegetable oil fuel called biodiesel, are corralled together instead of parked outside each residence.’
    • ‘I managed to get out just before the riot squad made a shield tunnel and corralled the crowd.’
    • ‘Case packers corral bottles into six groupings of four-packs.’
    • ‘There was one debate over where they would all sleep and whether they would all be moved into particular areas so that they would be corralled together.’
    • ‘It looks like the kind of book you'd find remaindered in the front shelves where they keep all the bargain books corralled together.’
    • ‘Make sure that there are ropes set up to control long lines - you know, the kind that corral the crowd and make customers walk back and forth many times before making it to the counter.’
    • ‘Today it was Sydney drivers who were being corralled into paying yet another toll, with the opening of the city's newest pay-as-you-go tunnel.’
    • ‘And I am corralling my arts students to come see the film.’
    • ‘After corralling the crowd to their seats, he set the tone with the characteristic wit and charm that people have come to expect from a man in a purple striped shirt.’
    • ‘Elements of an indigenous landscape are corralled by a regular agricultural pattern.’
    • ‘The band used this simple setup to corral the crowd into rapt attention.’
    • ‘Trent wanted to speak but he was having trouble corralling the words.’
    • ‘Anyone can protest, but crowds are corralled by iron gates that keep them checked.’
    • ‘After spending the night in camp, the workers were corralled onto the backs of large trucks and transported south.’
    • ‘He corralled five directors - yes, five - and several writers and directed them to produce a movie that complemented the psychedelic movement that was transforming popular culture.’
    • ‘The actresses, who were corralled in the beautiful Fairfax House dining room, where one was pretending to play the piano while the others poked about curiously among the plastic food, were more than willing to share their thoughts.’
    • ‘As he corralled the delegates toward the building, he couldn't help but gaze at the gate, where a row of forty National Guardsmen stood.’
    • ‘One further possible explanation has met with great success: bodies called ‘shepherding moons’ may gravitationally corral the particles.’
    • ‘A large rectangular compartment in the base corrals your loose cartridges, screwdrivers, etc.’
  • 2North American Put or keep (livestock) in a corral.

    • ‘She once had an eye kicked out by a stallion she corralled, but the loss hasn't stopped her.’
    • ‘The aim was to round up the goats and herd them towards the vermin fence, where they were corralled.’
    • ‘‘Peep, peep, peep,’ sing the little yellow hatchlings corralled by a pencil-line chicken wire fence.’
    • ‘I once read an article about a guy who corralled a herd of particularly wily mustangs by just quietly pushing them from 3 miles back.’
    • ‘What it does is to corral the salmon into cages and then, logically, it has to feed them so that they will grow.’
    • ‘The Labyrinth was a kind of game created by Daedalus for King Minos of Crete, but the maze served the serious purpose of corralling the violent Minotaur.’
    • ‘My guess is that she got the cut while I was trying to corral her into her carrier Wednesday night.’
    • ‘We went into the woods and beat the trees with sticks until all manner of livestock stampeded out and were corralled into our barn.’
    • ‘The winning dog had been corralled into a cage.’
    • ‘By corralling, farmers could take advantage of more of the nitrogen in animal manure.’
    • ‘They found and corralled a small wild herd of buffalo, which became the breeding stock for the magnificent beast we have today.’
    • ‘They tried to corral one pig at a time into the corner and herd it up the ramp.’
    • ‘Farmers were busy corralling animals that had climbed over snow banks and strayed from their land.’
    • ‘Instead, tuna are taken from the wild, enclosed in nets and dragged to shore where they are corralled in pens and fattened on an oil-rich diet.’
    • ‘Later on, we'll be corralling steers into the pen, watering horses and tending to repairs - I hope you didn't expect this to be easy work!’
    • ‘Hill-slope enclosures may have been occupied by livestock herders who used the gaps between the ramparts to corral animals.’
    enclose, confine, lock up, shut up, shut in, fence in, pen, pen in, rail in, wall in, cage, cage in, coop up, mew in, kettle
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1historical Form (wagons) into a corral.
      • ‘Next day, Sully led his army back toward the corralled wagon train on Heart River, reaching the anxious civilians on the evening of July 31.’
      • ‘As the wagons were corralled into an even tighter circle at the Crescent, the Trust arrived like the cavalry in the nick of time.’


North American
  • 1A pen for livestock, especially cattle or horses, on a farm or ranch.

    • ‘Excavations in 1958-9 revealed that the site was originally a corral for livestock.’
    • ‘There were two rows of tents down each side of the site, several campfires down the centre, a corral of horses up the far end of the clearing and food hanging off the rock face behind the far row of tents.’
    • ‘We end the ride in the corral where the horses are, so we can feed them some hay and have a photo opportunity.’
    • ‘Close to it was a ditched enclosure, interpreted as a corral for livestock awaiting the feasts, perhaps to be slaughtered in sacrificial ceremonies.’
    • ‘Most of the producers own small flocks maintained on homestead pastures and in corrals.’
    • ‘Solar-powered gates can be used at the end of residential driveways, on rural access roads, for livestock corrals, and in many other areas.’
    • ‘They are especially common around ranch buildings and corrals where perches are plentiful.’
    • ‘Step outside fire-warmed rooms in this tastefully restored adobe hacienda, and you'll see steam rising from longhorn cattle in the corral.’
    • ‘Except for small stone corrals, the farmers there build no fences.’
    • ‘He wandered over to the corral and called his horse.’
    • ‘The Punchestown Boys rode into town saying they were going to build a corral for cattle and horses that would be good for the town.’
    • ‘During your stay, you can picket your horse using the available tie-out poles, tie your horse to your trailer, or keep your horse in a portable corral.’
    • ‘Billy hauled on the lead reins and drew the horses up in a cloud of dust close to the corral where the fresh horses milled around.’
    • ‘The adult tick does not feed and may live in and around corrals, barns and cattle loafing areas for a year or more waiting to mate.’
    • ‘Before we leased these acres the land was fenced in corrals and the owner boarded horses.’
    • ‘The ravine was a perfect corral for the horses once they were in it.’
    • ‘Up by the horse corral, near the river that drained into the pond, a branch could clearly be heard snapping.’
    • ‘In a gentle stroll Adam completed his circuit of the ranch buildings and corrals.’
    • ‘Heading to the barn to let the horses out into the corral, Adam wondered how Clara would react when the dealership delivered her car later in the morning.’
    • ‘I ignored him and started to walk the horse around the corral.’
    enclosure, pen, fold, compound, pound, stockade, paddock
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1historical A defensive enclosure of wagons in an encampment.


Late 16th century: from Spanish and Old Portuguese (now curral), perhaps based on Latin currere ‘to run’. Compare with kraal.