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[ad-l-ahn-tah-doh; Spanish ah-th e-lahn-tah-th aw] /ˌæd l ɑnˈtɑ doʊ; Spanish ˌɑ ðɛ lɑnˈtɑ ðɔ/
noun, plural adelantados
[ad-l-ahn-tah-dohz; Spanish ah-th e-lahn-tah-th aws] /ˌæd l ɑnˈtɑ doʊz; Spanish ˌɑ ðɛ lɑnˈtɑ ðɔs/ (Show IPA).
a governor of a province in Spain or of a Spanish colonial province.
any of the early explorers, conquerors, or colonizers in Spanish America.
1835-45, Americanism; < Spanish, noun use of past participle of adelantar to go forward, derivative of adelante in front (a- (< Latin ad- ad-) + delante before, for denante < Late Latin dē in ante) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Encyclopedia Article for adelantado

(Spanish: "one who goes before"), representative of the kings of Castile (Spain) who in the early European Middle Ages headed military expeditions and, from the reign of Ferdinand III (1217-52) until the 16th century, held judicial and administrative powers over specific districts. Greater adelantados (adelantados mayores) served as appeal judges and in times of war were responsible for organizing their territories' armies. Lesser adelantados (adelantados menores) held similar powers, but they were often stationed along the frontiers, becoming known as frontier adelantados (adelantados fronterizos), and figured prominently in the military conquest of the Americas. In the 16th century the office was replaced by that of alcalde (magistrate).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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