Definition of encomienda in English:


Syllabification: en·co·mi·en·da
Pronunciation: /enˌkōmēˈendə, -ˌkämē-


  • A grant by the Spanish Crown to a colonist in America conferring the right to demand tribute and forced labor from the Indian inhabitants of an area.
    More example sentences
    • The entire Soconusco area became a Crown encomienda, with small-scale plots worked by individual families.
    • First, the Franciscans were highly critical of the military conquest of the Indians and of the encomienda system in general.
    • The encomienda system obliged Indians to work for the Spanish in order to pay a large tax.


Spanish, literally 'commission, charge'.

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