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encomienda

[en-koh-mee-en-duh, -kom-ee-; Spanish eng-kaw-myen-dah]
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noun, plural en·co·mi·en·das [en-koh-mee-en-duh z, -kom-ee-; Spanish eng-kaw-myen-dahs] /ɛnˌkoʊ miˈɛn dəz, -ˌkɒm i-; Spanish ˌɛŋ kɔˈmyɛn dɑs/. (formerly in Spanish America)
  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.
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Origin of encomienda

1800–10; < Spanish: charge, commission, recommendation. See en-1, commend
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for encomienda

n.

1810, from Spanish, "commission," from encomendar "to commit, charge." Estate granted to a Spaniard in America with powers to tax the Indians.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper