What does caudillo mean?

Definitions for caudillo
Sp. kaʊˈði lyɔ, -ˈði yɔ; Sp. -ˈði lyɔs, -ˈði yɔscaudil·lo

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word caudillo.

Did you actually mean caudally or castilla?


  1. caudillonoun


  2. caudillonoun

    A military dictator, especially one ruling in Latin America.

  3. Etymology: From caudillo, from capitellum, based on caput, capitis "head".


  1. Caudillo

    A caudillo ( kaw-DEE(L)-yoh, kow-, Spanish: [kawˈðiʎo]; Old Spanish: cabdillo, from Latin capitellum, diminutive of caput "head") is a type of personalist leader wielding military and political power. There is no precise English translation of caudillo, though it is often used interchangeably with "warlord" and "strongman". The term is historically associated with Spain, and with Hispanic America after virtually all of the region won independence in the early nineteenth century. The roots of caudillismo may be tied to the framework of rule in medieval and early modern Spain during the Reconquest from the Moors. Spanish conquistadors such as Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro exhibit characteristics of the caudillo, being successful military leaders, having mutual reliance of the leader and their supporters, and rewarding them for their loyalty. During the colonial era, the Spanish crown asserted its power and established a plethora of bureaucratic institutions that prevented personalist rule. Historian John Lynch argues that the rise of caudillos in Spanish America is rooted not in the distant Spanish past but in the immediate context of the Spanish American wars of independence. Those wars overthrew colonial rule and left a power vacuum in the early nineteenth century. Caudillos were very influential in the history of Spanish America and have a legacy that has influenced political movements in the modern era. Also in HispanoAsia (Philippines) Emilio Aguinaldo titled as the Caudillo of "La Revolucion Pilipina", he ended up becoming the leader of two anti-colonial struggles: first against Spain, then against the US. The term is often used pejoratively by critics of a regime. However, Spain's General Francisco Franco (1936–1975) proudly took the title as his own during and after his military overthrow of the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), in parallel to the German and Italian equivalents of the same period: Führer and Duce. Spanish censors during his rule attacked publishers who applied the term to Hispanic American strongmen. Caudillos' exercise of power is a form considered authoritarian. Most societies have had personalist leaders at times, but Hispanic America has had many more, the majority of whom were not self-described caudillos. However, scholars have applied the term to a variety of Hispanic American leaders.


  1. Caudillo

    Caudillo usually describes a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. The term translates into English as leader or chief, or more pejoratively as warlord, dictator or strongman. Caudillo was the term used to refer to the charismatic populist leaders among the people. Caudillos have influenced a sizable portion of the history of Latin America. The term originally referred to military power: Indíbil and Mandonio, Viriathus, Almanzor, Don Pelayo and other fighters of the Reconquista, even Simón Bolivar, Francisco Franco, Juan Perón etc., but in Latin America another sense has developed: the caudillo lawyer and politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was honored with the title "Caudillo of The Colombian People" and even without state responsibilities like cacique in Spain and oligarchical–plutocratic power.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Caudillo is ranked #7530 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Caudillo surname appeared 4,418 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Caudillo.

    90.9% or 4,019 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    8.2% or 363 total occurrences were White.
    0.3% or 14 total occurrences were Black.
    0.1% or 8 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.1% or 8 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.1% or 6 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce caudillo?

How to say caudillo in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of caudillo in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of caudillo in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for caudillo

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for caudillo »


Find a translation for the caudillo definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"caudillo." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/caudillo>.

Discuss these caudillo definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for caudillo? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a meter that shows mileage traversed
    • A. odometer
    • B. humility
    • C. downsizing
    • D. investigating

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for caudillo: