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Any person of mixed blood. In Spanish America the term denotes a person of combined Indian and European extraction. In some countries, such as Ecuador, it has acquired social and cultural connotations: a pure-blooded Indian who has adopted European dress and customs is called a mestizo (or cholo). In Mexico the term's meaning has varied so greatly that it has been abandoned in census reports. In the Philippines it denotes a person of mixed foreign (e.g., Chinese) and native ancestry. See alsoladino.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on mestizo, visit Britannica.com.