[ hoo n-tuh, juhn‐, huhn‐ ]
/ ˈhʊn tə, ˈdʒʌn‐, ˈhʌn‐ /


a small group ruling a country, especially immediately after a coup d'état and before a legally constituted government has been instituted.
a council.
a deliberative or administrative council, especially in Spain and Latin America.

Origin of junta

1615–25; < Spanish: a meeting, noun use of feminine of Latin junctus, past participle of jungere to join; see junction

Pronunciation note

When the word junta was borrowed into English from Spanish in the early 17th century, its pronunciation was thoroughly Anglicized to [juhn-tuh] /ˈdʒʌn tə/. The 20th century has seen the emergence and, especially in North America, the gradual predominance of the pronunciation [hoo n-tuh] /ˈhʊn tə/, derived from Spanish [hoon-tah] /ˈhun tɑ/ through reassociation with the word's Spanish origins. A hybrid form [huhn-tuh] /ˈhʌn tə/ is also heard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for junta

British Dictionary definitions for junta


/ (ˈdʒʊntə, ˈdʒʌn-, US ˈhʊntə) /


a group of military officers holding the power in a country, esp after a coup d'état
Also called: junto a small group of men; cabal, faction, or clique
a legislative or executive council in some parts of Latin America

Word Origin for junta

C17: from Spanish: council, from Latin junctus joined, from jungere to join
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 junta



1620s, "Spanish legislative council," from Spanish and Portuguese junta "council, meeting, convention," from Medieval Latin iuncta "joint," from Latin iuncta, fem. past participle of iungere "to join" (see jugular).

Meaning "political or military group in power" first recorded 1640s as junto (from confusion with Spanish nouns ending in -o), originally with reference to the Cabinet Council of Charles I. Modern spelling in this sense is from 1714; popularized 1808 in connection with councils formed across Spain to resist Napoleon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for junta


[ (hoon-tuh, jun-tuh) ]

A group of military leaders who govern a country after a coup d'état.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.