mes·​ti·​zo me-ˈstē-(ˌ)zō How to pronounce mestizo (audio)
plural mestizos
: a person of mixed blood
specifically : a person of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry compare mestiza

Examples of mestizo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In time, many conquistadors married Taíno women, combining the genes of the New World and Old World to create a new mestizo, or mixed, population, which took on Creole characteristics with the arrival of African slaves in the 16th century. Robert M. Poole, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Oct. 2011 The story of The Settlers follows three horsemen — a young Chilean mestizo, an American mercenary, and led by a reckless British lieutenant — hired by a wealthy Chilean landowner to mark out the perimeter of his extensive property and open a route to the Atlantic Ocean across vast Patagonia. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Is there a risk that this conception of Latino identity as mestizo replicates mainstream Latino erasure of Black or Indigenous people who don’t identify as mixed? Jean Guerrero, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2023 The expedition, composed of a young Chilean mestizo, an American mercenary, and led by a reckless British lieutenant, soon turns into a ‘civilizing’ raid. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 24 May 2023 In Latin America, Latino identity — Latinidad — is frequently incarnated by the symbol of the mestizo, interpreted to be a person of mixed European (often Spanish) and Indigenous descent. Carolina A. Mirandacolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 14 Oct. 2022 Creoles, the descendants of enslaved Africans, make up roughly 24 percent of today’s population, while the majority of Belizeans are Spanish-speaking mestizo, a mixture of Maya and Spanish. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 7 May 2022 At its core was the figure of the mestizo — a concept that would be embraced across Latin America. Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2022 For him, that means shows that feature largely white Mexican casts, although Mexico’s population is mostly mixed-race mestizo. Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mestizo.' 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, from mestizo, adjective, "mixed," from Late Latin mixticius, from Latin mixtus, past participle of miscēre "to mix" — more at mix

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mestizo was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near mestizo

Cite this Entry

“Mestizo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


mes·​ti·​zo me-ˈstē-zō How to pronounce mestizo (audio)
plural mestizos
: a person having mixed European and American Indian ancestors

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