con·​quis·​ta·​dor | \kän-ˈkē-stə-ˌdȯr, kən- also -ˈkwi-, -ˈki-\
plural conquistadores\(ˌ)kän-​ˌkē-​stə-​ˈdȯr-​ēz, -​ˈdȯr-​ˌās, kən-​; (ˌ)kän-​ˌkwi-​, -​ˌki-​ \ or conquistadors

Definition of conquistador 

: one that conquers specifically : a leader in the Spanish conquest of America and especially of Mexico and Peru in the 16th century

Examples of conquistador in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The conquistadors used the seed of an avocado for ink. Caroline Judelson, Fox News, "7 crazy avocado facts to help you celebrate National Avocado Day," 31 July 2018 And the tomb at Tel Megiddo offers the first evidence that people outside Mesoamerica also used vanilla about 2,000 to 3,000 years before the conquistadors carried it home from Mexico. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Israeli tomb contains a tasty surprise: Vanilla extract," 20 Nov. 2018 There’s documentation of this, in writing by Mesoamericans themselves and in records from the Spanish conquistadors. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Chocolate has been around for millennia. New research suggests it’s even older than we thought.," 31 Oct. 2018 After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848 with the U.S. seizure of land previously seized from indigenous peoples by Spanish conquistadors and settlers, the area that now is Long Beach was sold to an American family of ranchers. WSJ, "Cal State Long Beach Has Only Begun Virtue," 30 Sep. 2018 Why not interview and feature the modern-day descendants of the Peruvian conquistadors? Town & Country, ""Got the Snaps?"," 13 June 2015 Following the 16th-century arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the project was abandoned, leaving the site untouched until its 1910 rediscovery by Emiliano Zapata’s revolutionary forces. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Earthquake Reveals 12th-Century Temple Hidden Within Aztec Pyramid," 12 July 2018 The American tomato, with its origins in what is now Mexico and South America, was introduced to Europeans and North Americans by the Spanish conquistadors, and by the 19th century had become a ubiquitous garden plant. Amy Bentley,, "Is ketchup the perfect complement to the American diet?," 10 June 2018 But historians and archaeologists knew the conquistadors were prone to exaggerating the horrors of human sacrifice to demonize the Mexica culture. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of conquistador

1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conquistador

Spanish, ultimately from Latin conquirere — see conquer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conquistador

Share conquistador

Statistics for conquistador

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conquistador

The first known use of conquistador was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conquistador



English Language Learners Definition of conquistador

: a leader in the Spanish conquests of America, Mexico, and Peru in the 16th century


con·​quis·​ta·​dor | \kän-ˈkē-stə-ˌdȯr \
plural conquistadores\-​ˌkē-​stə-​ˈdȯr-​ēz \ or conquistadors

Kids Definition of conquistador

: a leader in the Spanish conquest especially of Mexico and Peru in the 16th century

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on conquistador

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with conquistador

Spanish Central: Translation of conquistador Encyclopedia article about conquistador

Comments on conquistador

What made you want to look up conquistador? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!