[kawr-duh-vuh n]


a native or inhabitant of Córdoba, Spain.
(lowercase) a soft, smooth leather originally made at Córdoba of goatskin but later made also of split horsehide, pigskin, etc.


of Córdoba, Spain.
(lowercase) designating or made of cordovan.

Origin of Cordovan

First recorded in 1585–95; Cordov(a) + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cordovan

Historical Examples of cordovan

  • Meanwhile the zeal of the Cordovan Christians was bearing fruit.

    The Moors in Spain

    Stanley Lane-Poole

  • This boy is going to get away the favors from all the Cordovan caliphs.

    The Blood of the Arena

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • These are best made of pigskin or cordovan leather, which is horse hide.

  • And when they came he was colouring some Cordovan leather, and gilding it.

    The Mabinogion

    Lady Charlotte Guest

  • On the ground floor there was a great ballroom hung with splendid Cordovan leather.

    The Spell of Switzerland

    Nathan Haskell Dole

British Dictionary definitions for cordovan



a fine leather now made principally from horsehide, isolated from the skin layers above and below it and tanned

Word Origin for cordovan

C16: from Spanish cordobán (n), from cordobán (adj) of Córdoba 1



a native or inhabitant of Córdoba, Spain


of or relating to Córdoba, Spain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cordovan

1590s, "fine Spanish leather," from adjective Cordovan, from Spanish cordovan (modern cordoban), from cordovano (adj.) "of Cordova," the Spanish city, former capital of Moorish Spain; a later adoption of the same word that became cordwain (see cordwainer). The city name is from Phoenician qorteb "oil press."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper