[en-koh-mee-en-duh, -kom-ee-; Spanish eng-kaw-myen-dah]
noun, plural encomiendas [en-koh-mee-en-duhz, -kom-ee-; Spanish eng-kaw-myen-dahs] (formerly in Spanish America)
the system, instituted in 1503, under which a Spanish soldier or colonist was granted a tract of land or a village together with its Indian inhabitants.
the land or village together with its inhabitants.

1800–10; < Spanish: charge, commission, recommendation. See en-1, commend

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Main Entry:  encomienda
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  in the US, a land grant system started in 1503 which gave certain Spaniards an estate or tract of land in America as well as the Native American inhabitants of that land; also, this tract of land and its inhabitants
Example:  Encomienda provided for Indian tribute in exchange for protection and Christian instruction.
Usage:  encomendero n
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Word Origin & History

1810, from Sp., commission, from encomendar to commit, charge.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The king approved all these recommendations except for the encomienda.
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