Meaning of encomienda

en•co•mi•en•da

Pronunciation: (en-kō"mē-en'du, -kom"ē- Sp. eng"kô-myen'dä), [key]
— pl. -das
  1. 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.
  2. the land or village together with its inhabitants.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.