conquistador kŏnkwĭs´tədôr, Span. kōng-kē˝stäᵺôr´ [key], military leader in the Spanish conquest of the New World in the 16th cent. Francisco Pizarro , the conqueror of Peru, and Hernán Cortés , 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).

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