con·​dot·​tie·​re ˌkän-də-ˈtyer-ē How to pronounce condottiere (audio)
plural condottieri ˌkän-də-ˈtyer-ē How to pronounce condottiere (audio)
: a leader of a band of mercenaries common in Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries
also : a member of such a band
: a mercenary soldier

Examples of condottiere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Prigozhin became the condottiere of his own private army, funded by the state. Time, 24 Aug. 2023

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

Word History


borrowed from Italian condottiero, condottiere, from condotta "command, contract between the commander of a mercenary company and a prince or commune, company of mercenary soldiers" (noun derivative from feminine of condotto, past participle of condurre "to lead, direct," going back to Latin condūcere "to bring together, join, hire") + -iero, -iere, agent suffix (borrowed from Middle French -ier -ier) — more at conduce

Note: On the change of sense shown by the Romance descendants of Latin condūcere see note at conduce.

First Known Use

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of condottiere was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near condottiere

Cite this Entry

“Condottiere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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