it means when things are getting tough you have to get back up, dust yourself off and keep trying.
Let's all cowboy up and get this job finished!
by brattygrrl911 August 03, 2003
quit your bitching and be a man. when it gets tough start playing hard.
Before the big game against our rivals someone said "Cowboy up" to the pesimistic pussies.
by daywalker October 07, 2003
When faced with a hard chore, it's a shift in attitude from "can't" to a positive "can-do" with confidence and a non-complaining spirit that becomes contageous.
Halfway through a hot day of hauling hay you might tell yourself or your buddy to "c'mon, cow-boy up." and thereby keep your work and your attitude from going south.
by still_do December 01, 2003
Basically, another way of saying "Shut up and take it like a man" or "Quit your whining." The term is derived from the popular image of cowboys being tough, unflinching, uncomplaining, and hard-working.
"Cowboy up, man. What would John Wayne say if he heard you complaining over a little hard work?"
by Snow Hesher October 06, 2006
"Cowboy Up" is when you are injured or down and the prospect of doing whatever it is you're about to try is so bleak that the best you can hope for is to live through it.
This year, the Boston Red Sox cowboyed up to rally against the Yankees in the championship series.
by Jeff Newell October 10, 2003
Essentially another term for self-endowment of strength and moral, or to another. Essentially another term for a similar phrase like, "toughen up", or "stop your belly-aching and fight!", etc etc.
"I'm sure this is a word made by southerners. I'm not southern, but I like the definition of what it means. Reminds me of me. ^_^ "
by Dave February 22, 2004
A term used by small city fire departments when a Big City Fire Fighter takes initiative to accomplish a task during an emergency without being told to do so.
Did you see the Big City Fire Engineer "Cowboy up" when he took lights and blowers to the front door of that structure fire? I.C. never requested that.
by Johnny Wayne October 05, 2013