ca·​cique kə-ˈsēk How to pronounce cacique (audio)
: a native Indian chief in areas dominated primarily by a Spanish culture
: a local political boss in Spain and Latin America
caciquism noun

Examples of cacique in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The son of a cacique (chief) from the Vale do Javari, an indigenous territory in the Brazilian Amazon larger than Austria, he was converted by a missionary from another ethnic group and became a pastor himself. The Economist, 11 July 2020 This angered a cacique (local boss), who thought the mayor was muscling in on his turf. The Economist, 5 May 2018 Pedro Páramo, the main character of the novel and the unmet father of its narrator, Juan Preciado, is a cacique (boss), who by violence and threat appropriates all the land in the fictional town of Comala, along with many of its women. The Economist, 14 Dec. 2017 The arrogance (and stupidity) of the bishops, the nearness of the church with caciques, narcos and all kinds of harmful people and, above all, the silence of the Catholic hierarchy regarding child abuse. The New York Times, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cacique.' 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 Taino, chief

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cacique was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near cacique

Cite this Entry

“Cacique.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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