cau·dil·lo (kô-dēlyō, -dēyō, kou-)
n. pl. cau·dil·los
1. A leader or chief, especially a military dictator.
2. A political boss; an overlord.
[Spanish, leader, from Late Latin capitellum, diminutive of Latin caput, head; see kaput- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.