a chief of an Indian clan or tribe in Mexico and the West Indies.
(in Spain and Latin America) a political boss on a local level.
(in the Philippines) a prominent landowner.
any of several black and red or black and yellow orioles of the American tropics that construct long, pendent nests.

1545–55; < Spanish < Taino (Hispaniola) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cacique
World English Dictionary
cacique or cazique (kəˈsiːk, kəˈziːk)
1.  a Native American chief in a Spanish-speaking region
2.  (esp in Spanish America) a local political boss
3.  any of various tropical American songbirds of the genus Cacicus and related genera: family Icteridae (American orioles)
[C16: from Spanish, of Arawak origin; compare Taino cacique chief]
cazique or cazique
[C16: from Spanish, of Arawak origin; compare Taino cacique chief]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


any of a dozen tropical American birds belonging to the family Icteridae (order Passeriformes) and resembling the related oropendolas. Caciques are smaller than oropendolas and have a less-powerful bill, which lacks a frontal shield. These striking black-and-yellow or black-and-red birds make hanging nests. A common species is the all-black, yellow-billed cacique (Cacicus, or Amblycercus, holosericeus), about 20 cm (8 inches) long, found in areas from southern Mexico to Bolivia.

Learn more about cacique with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Their regional chieftaincies, each headed by a leader known as a cacique, crumbled away.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature