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 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 While some of them are perfectly comfortable as lap dogs to a caudillo — Sen. Lindsey Graham comes to mind — for most there are two related reasons: cynicism and cowardice. Star Tribune, 16 Feb. 2021 Although arguably less effective, Democrats also took a page out of the GOP book, casting Trump as a would-be caudillo, or strongman, likening him to Castro, Chavez and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Romina Ruiz-goiriena, USA TODAY, 17 Nov. 2020 But those Latino Trumpers delivered Florida to their caudillo, saved Texas, and dampened Biden’s chances in swing states like Georgia and North Carolina. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 4 Nov. 2020 And the impossibly dark punchline offered by the Broadway-caudillo drag of Trump’s latest phase is that the United States, the world’s most powerful democracy, did not even get a real Perón. New York Times, 21 Oct. 2020 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 Some cast Trump as a caudillo akin to Hugo Chávez or Fidel Castro, while others denounce his lethal mishandling of the pandemic. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 16 Sep. 2020 In late October, the eighty-two-year-old caudillo, a staunch U.S. ally in the battle against Communism, had fallen into a coma after a series of heart attacks. Giles Harvey, The New Yorker, 6 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of caudillo

1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caudillo

Spanish, chief, leader, from Late Latin capitellum small head — more at cadet

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Time Traveler for caudillo

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The first known use of caudillo was in 1852

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Statistics for caudillo

Last Updated

21 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caudillo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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