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[kaw-deel-yoh, -dee-oh; Spanish kou-th ee-lyaw, -th ee-yaw] /kɔˈdil yoʊ, -ˈdi oʊ; Spanish kaʊˈði lyɔ, -ˈði yɔ/
noun, plural caudillos
[kaw-deel-yohz, -dee-ohz; Spanish kaw-th ee-lyaws, -th ee-yaws] /kɔˈdil yoʊz, -ˈdi oʊz; Spanish kɔˈði lyɔs, -ˈði yɔs/ (Show IPA)
(in Spanish-speaking countries) a head of state, especially a military dictator.
Origin of caudillo
1850-55; < Spanish < Late Latin capitellum, equivalent to Latin capit- (stem of caput) head + -ellum diminutive suffix; see -elle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for caudillo


/kɔːˈdiːljəʊ; Spanish kauˈðiʎo/
noun (pl) -los (-jəʊz; Spanish) (-ʎos)
(in Spanish-speaking countries) a military or political leader
Word Origin
Spanish, from Late Latin capitellum, diminutive of Latin caput head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for caudillo

dictator in Spain or Latin America, 1852, from Spanish caudillo, cabdillo "leader, chief," from Late Latin capitellum, diminutive of caput (genitive capitis) "head" (see capitulum). Later in Spain taken by Franco as a title in imitation of German Führer, Italian Duce.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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