Cal·​i·​for·​nio ˌka-lə-ˈfȯr-nē-ˌō How to pronounce Californio (audio)
plural Californios
: one of the original Spanish colonists of California or their descendants
: a native or resident of California

Examples of Californio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Joaquín Murrieta was a Californio who supposedly fought against American colonizers arriving during the Gold Rush, after the U.S. invasion of Mexico. Rodrigo Cervantes, Los Angeles Times, 14 Aug. 2023 Young Californio men were thus placed in a vise: They were forced to accept older gringos marrying Californio women who otherwise might have been romantic prospects for them, but the few gringo women were off limits. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Californio.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish, from California

First Known Use

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Californio was in 1902

Dictionary Entries Near Californio

Cite this Entry

“Californio.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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