Definition of condottiere in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌkɒndɒˈtjɛːreɪ/

noun (plural condottieri pronounced same)

A leader or member of a troop of mercenaries, especially in Italy.
Example sentences
  • The situation reminds us of fifteenth-century Italy, where casualty-averse mercenary condottieri conducted protracted and nearly bloodless warfare.
  • These organizations ultimately developed in Italy as condottieri (literally, military contractors), who offered their services to the highest bidder.
  • Confronted by condottieri like Werner of Urslingen, the justifiably self-styled ‘Enemy of God, Pity, and Mercy,’ governments usually coughed up.


Italian, from condotto 'troop under contract', from condotta 'a contract', from condurre 'conduct', from Latin conducere (see conduct).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|dot¦tiere

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.