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 (kŏn′də-tyâr′ē, -tyâr′ā)
n. pl. con·dot·tie·ri (-tyâr′ē)
A leader of mercenary soldiers between the 14th and 16th centuries.

[Italian, from condotta, troop of mercenaries, from feminine past participle of condurre, to conduct, from Latin condūcere, to lead together; see conduce.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ri (-riː)
(Military) a commander or soldier in a professional mercenary company in Europe from the 13th to the 16th centuries
[C18: from Italian, from condotto leadership, from condurre to lead, from Latin condūcere; see conduct]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌkɒn dəˈtyɛər eɪ, -ˈtyɛər i)

n., pl. -tie•ri (-ˈtyɛər i)
1. a leader of a private band of mercenary soldiers in Italy, esp. in the 14th and 15th centuries.
2. any mercenary; soldier of fortune.
[1785–95; < Italian, <condott(o) < Latin conductus hired man]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
"What, are you descended from the great condottiere Facino Cane, whose lands won by the sword were taken by the Dukes of Milan?"
He felt himself caught; but, precisely, because he was caught he felt himself on the road to discovery, and it little imported to him, old condottiere as he was, to be beaten in appearance, provided he drew from his pretended defeat the advantages of victory.
I only know that in the afternoon, when the air was aglow with the sunset, I was standing before the church of Saints John and Paul and looking up at the small square-jawed face of Bartolommeo Colleoni, the terrible condottiere who sits so sturdily astride of his huge bronze horse, on the high pedestal on which Venetian gratitude maintains him.
There is, secondly, the intricacy of the human person, which is surely enriched by characters like Rene of Anjou, Jacopo Antonio Marcello, and Francesco Sforza, with the latter emerging as a very clever condottiere prince.
The Gian Francesco Ruberti della Grana medal (Hill, 50) shows the marquis not much older than he appeared in the Melioli medal but the reverse is dedicated to a battle scene calling to mind Francesco II's role as a condottiere. As for the several medals by Gian Marco Cavalli (Hill, 62; Chambers, 151) their reverses portray Francesco II distributing to three men and with an inscription borrowed from the Aeneid.
Antoniazzo Romano's external fresco of the ceremonial encounter between Piero de' Medici and Gentil Virginio Orsini, at Bracciano, belongs with other early dynastic and martial tableaux, such as those in the Castello Colleoni at Malpaga where the famous condottiere is literally furnished with a place in history.
Petrarch's letters to Francesco da Carrara are given as Seniles 17 (recte 14), 1-2, while the condottiere Facino Cane is made a member of the Della Scala family (207, 220).
Tristanus, 1429-1477, legitimated 1448, condottiere, m.
(8.) When Boniface sees that Guido hesitates to give him the counsel he requires, the Pope reassures the retired condottiere that he need not fear for his soul.
Clausewitz describes the fighting value of condottiere wars as negligible: "Extremes of energy or exertion were conspicuous by their absence and fighting was generally a sham." (15) The notion is further supported through Clausewitz's treatment of limited wars for limited aims that he uses as one mechanism to modify his simple definition of war as a duel: "The political object--the original motive for the war--will thus determine both the military objective to be reached and the amount of effort it requires." (16) Sometimes, even the threat of force could be enough to achieve the desired political objectives.
A main theme in D'Elia's treatment of Malatesta and his humanist eulogizers involves elucidating a clash in Renaissance culture between Christian morality and pagan virtues, certainly an underlying thread in Pius IPs condemnation of the condottiere. D'Elia emphasizes Malatesta's predilections for pagan heroic virtues, attraction to astrology, his brazen sexuality, and penchant for extreme physical conditioning, but perhaps overdraws the Christian/classical tension that humanists like Marsilio Ficino resolved philosophically by melding and interpreting the one with the other, though without needing to incorporate ancient battlefield heroics and Spartan physical conditioning.
(34) In his Vita del conte e senatore Andrea Bentivoglio, Sabadino degli Arienti maintains that although Andrea could have become a condottiere, Ludovico explicitly wanted to keep his son away from a position of power ("volle lui urbanamente vivesse senza mormorazione di alcuno; conciofossecche sempre egli aveva fuggito tale stato e quello gli andava dietro" 13).