com·​pa·​dre kəm-ˈpä-drā How to pronounce compadre (audio)
: a close friend : buddy

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Get Friendly With the Definition of Compadre

In Spanish, a child’s father and godfather are, to each other, “compadres”—that is, “co-fathers”—but in English the word refers simply to a close friend. Like amigo, Spanish compadre is a masculine term; the equivalent feminine term is comadre. The earliest known evidence of compadre in English use comes from an 1834 book by Albert Pike, in which both compadre and comadre appear. Comadre makes occasional appearances in English contexts, but it has yet to become established sufficiently in the language to join its compadre in our dictionaries.

Examples of compadre in a Sentence

How are you doing, compadre? they're longtime compadres who have been through a lot together
Recent Examples on the Web The weekend was supposed to be about good baseball, the brothers Lowe (Nathaniel and Josh) and Cuban compadres Adolis García and Randy Arozarena showing off. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 11 June 2023 The lucky winner, and their three luckier compadres, will get four round-trip tickets to Chicago. Sean Malcolm, Rolling Stone, 5 Apr. 2023 Sunday morning mass at St. Leo’s in Solana Beach and lunch afterward with my compadres. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Apr. 2023 Staying entrenched in an industry that’s full of late nights and wild surprises, a few ride-or-die compadres and a never-ending lineup of mysterious strangers. Wayne and Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Mar. 2023 At noon Sunday in American Airlines Center the star compadres will face one another for the first time since blockbuster trades four days apart jettisoned them from the Nets in separate directions – Irving to Dallas; Durant to Phoenix. Dallas News, 3 Mar. 2023 Big Ten West compadre Northwestern played the victim this week against Southern Illinois and thus the Salukis went back to Carbondale with a nice victory and a direct deposit of $550,000. Scooby Axson, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2022 Messi had been in touch with Neymar, his old compadre, to talk things through. New York Times, 10 Aug. 2021 Meanwhile a former compadre of Mr Massie in the House Freedom Caucus, Justin Amash, declared a plan to run for president for the Libertarians. The Economist, 2 May 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'compadre.' 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, literally, godfather, from Medieval Latin compater — more at compeer

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of compadre was in 1834


Dictionary Entries Near compadre

Cite this Entry

“Compadre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


com·​pa·​dre kəm-ˈpäd-rā How to pronounce compadre (audio)
: a close friend
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