jun·ta (hntə, jŭn-)
1. A group of military officers ruling a country after seizing power.
2. A council or small legislative body in a government, especially in Central or South America.
[Spanish, conference, council, junta, from Old Spanish juntar, to join, unite, assemble, from Vulgar Latin *iūnctāre, from Latin iūnctus, past participle of Latin iungere, to join; see yeug- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: For a long time this 18th-century borrowing from Spanish was pronounced (jŭntə) by English speakers on both sides of the Atlantic. By the middle of the 20th century, however, the pronunciation (hntə), an approximation of the Spanish pronunciation, had gained currency in the US. This word is now usually pronounced (hntə) in American English and (jŭntə) in British English.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.