Ranch′ing, the business of cattle-raising in the unsettled regions of the west. The name is derived from rancho, Spanish for mess or messroom. The special feature of ranching is that cattle are kept in a half-wild state, being allowed to range over a great deal of ground, such pasture as they can find being their only food. The life of ranchmen, generally called cowboys, is not so wild and free as it once was, but still has great charms for many different classes of young men. The term ranch, has come to be applied throughout the west not merely to stockranges, but to all kinds of farms.