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condottiere (kon-duh-TYAR-ee, -ay) noun, plural condottieri

A hired soldier; mercenary.

[From Italian condottiere, a leader of a group of mercenaries who sold their services to warring states during 14-16th centuries. From Italian, from condotta (conduct).]

"Plenty of states are willing to supply condotierre for the Saudis." Y. Sadowski, Revolution, Reform, or Regression?, Brookings Review (Washington, DC), Winter 90/91.

"If any doubts remained about Pakistan's covert support for the insurgents, they have now been dispelled: Mere condottieri, dependent on their own resources, could not possibly have mounted this well-orchestrated military assault." Sumit Ganguly, On the Brink in Kashmir, The Nation (New York), Jul 19, 1999.

This week's theme: words with Italian connection.


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