[en-koh-mee-en-duh, -kom-ee-; Spanish eng-kaw-myen-dah]
- 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.
- the land or village together with its inhabitants.
Origin of encomienda
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for encomiendas
The Indians on the encomiendas were reduced to the condition of slaves.The Audiencia in the Spanish Colonies
Charles Henry Cunningham
There being no Indians in the West Indies now, there were no encomiendas.The Colonization of North America
Herbert Eugene Bolton
These women inherited these encomiendas from their husbands or fathers.
The same with regard to the provision for repartimientos and encomiendas of the Indians.
The other encomenderos give the same to the ministers of their encomiendas.
Word Origin and History for encomiendas
1810, from Spanish, "commission," from encomendar "to commit, charge." Estate granted to a Spaniard in America with powers to tax the Indians.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper