Definition of caudillo in English:

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Pronunciation: /kôˈdē(y)ō/ Pronunciation: /kouˈdēˌ(y)ō/

noun (plural caudillos)

(In Spanish-speaking regions) a military or political leader.
Example sentences
  • Borges was deep down an old-fashioned liberal, however, who despised the Spanish-American tradition of the caudillo (political strongman) and its vulgar populism.
  • Characteristically, the dictatorship co-opted or eliminated political opponents and regional caudillos or bosses.
  • In 1871, a liberal caudillo or military dictator, Justo Rufino Barrios, took power and ruled as president from 1873 to 1885.


Spanish, from late Latin capitellum, diminutive of caput 'head'. The title El Caudillo 'the leader' was assumed by General Franco of Spain in 1938.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cau·dil·lo

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