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condottiere

[kawn-duh-tyair-ey, -tyair-ee; Italian kawn-dawt-tye-re] /ˌkɔn dəˈtyɛər eɪ, -ˈtyɛər i; Italian ˌkɔn dɔtˈtyɛ rɛ/
noun, plural condottieri
[kawn-duh-tyair-ee; Italian kawn-dawt-tye-ree] /ˌkɔn dəˈtyɛər i; Italian ˌkɔn dɔtˈtyɛ ri/ (Show IPA)
1.
a leader of a private band of mercenary soldiers in Italy, especially in the 14th and 15th centuries.
2.
any mercenary; soldier of fortune.
Origin
1785-1795
1785-95; < Italian, equivalent to condott(o) (< Latin conductus hired man, past participle of condūcere to conduce; see conduct) + -iere < Latin -ārius -ary
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for condottiere

condottiere

/ˌkɒndɒˈtjɛərɪ/
noun (pl) -ri (-riː)
1.
a commander or soldier in a professional mercenary company in Europe from the 13th to the 16th centuries
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from condotto leadership, from condurre to lead, from Latin condūcere; see conduct
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for condottiere

leader of a band of mercenaries engaged to fight in numerous wars among the Italian states from the mid-14th to the 16th century. The name was derived from the condotta, or "contract," by which the condottieri put themselves in the service of a city or of a lord.

Learn more about condottiere with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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