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conquistador(kŏnkwĭs`tədôr, Span. kōng-kē'stäthôr`), military leader in the Spanish conquest of the New World in the 16th cent. Francisco PizarroPizarro, Francisco
, c.1476–1541, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Peru. Born in Trujillo, he was an illegitimate son of a Spanish gentleman and as a child was an illiterate swineherd.
..... Click the link for more information. , the conqueror of Peru, and Hernán CortésCortés, Hernán,
or Hernando Cortez
, 1485–1547, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Mexico. Expedition to Mexico
Cortés went (1504) first to Hispaniola and later (1511) accompanied Diego de Velázquez to Cuba.
..... Click the link for more information. , the conqueror of Mexico, were the greatest of the conquistadors. The name is frequently used to mean any daring, ruthless adventurer.
See P. Horgan, Conquistadors in North American History (1963); F. A. Kirkpatrick, The Spanish Conquistadores (2d ed. 1967).
History an adventurer or conqueror, esp one of the Spanish conquerors of the New World in the 16th century