cau·​di·​llo | \ kau̇-ˈt͟hē-(ˌ)yō How to pronounce caudillo (audio) , -ˈt͟hēl-(ˌ)yō How to pronounce caudillo (audio) \
plural caudillos

Definition of caudillo

: a Spanish or Latin American military dictator

Examples of caudillo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Russian caudillo Vladimir Putin plans to use Ukraine as the stage for an opera in three acts: Blitzkrieg, Anschluss, Kolonisation. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 25 Feb. 2022 Putin is a ridiculous caudillo running a third-rate gangster state with a GDP per capita that is half of Lithuania’s and barely ahead of Kazakhstan’s. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 20 Jan. 2022 The caudillo depends on our exaggeration of his power. Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books, 5 Nov. 2020 Latin America is inured to strongmen and demagogues, but Bukele appears to be something new, a caudillo for the digital age intent on spreading his brand of populist politics across the region. Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2021 The deal intends to shift TikTok’s cloud business to Oracle, which nevertheless doesn’t yet seem to have convinced the caudillo that a non-ownership deal is a good idea. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, 17 Sep. 2020 As the Cold War wound to an end, however, the dictatorships fell, and the caudillo generals retreated into the historical shadows. Ioan Grillo, The New Republic, 6 June 2018 In Latin America, the specter of the caudillo, or military leader, has made a comeback. Ian Bremmer, Time, 3 May 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caudillo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of caudillo

1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caudillo

borrowed from Spanish, "leader, chief" (medieval Spanish cabdiello), going back to Vulgar Latin *capitellus "leader" — more at cadet

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The first known use of caudillo was in 1852

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Cite this Entry

“Caudillo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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