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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 ?
This man, as I have said, made head of the army by the Syracusans, soon found out that a mercenary soldiery, constituted like our Italian condottieri, was of no use; and it appearing to him that he could neither keep them not let them go, he had them all cut to pieces, and afterwards made war with his own forces and not with aliens.
Then I traced back a course of life for this latest scion of a race of condottieri, tracking down his misfortunes, looking for the reasons of the deep moral and physical degradation out of which the lately revived sparks of greatness and nobility shone so much the more brightly.
``The Saxon porker,'' he said, ``is either asleep or minds me not Prick him with your lance, De Bracy,'' speaking to a knight who rode near him, the leader of a band of Free Companions, or Condottieri; that is, of mercenaries belonging to no particular nation, but attached for the time to any prince by whom they were paid.
"My opinion is, that all these old podestas, these ancient condottieri, -- for the Cavalcanti have commanded armies and governed provinces, -- my opinion, I say, is, that they have buried their millions in corners, the secret of which they have transmitted only to their eldest sons, who have done the same from generation to generation; and the proof of this is seen in their yellow and dry appearance, like the florins of the republic, which, from being constantly gazed upon, have become reflected in them."
(74) At the court of Ferrara, for instance, the voluntary exile Nanni di Carlo Strozzi was in Este service by 1394, and his sons were important condottieri and nobles.
"Pontano e la guerra di Napoli." Condottieri e uomini d'arme nell'Italia del Rinascimento.
The author concludes in the future the institutional military will more closely resemble the condottieri of pre-Westphalia (a return to the natural condition) than the national armies dominating modern times.
Paid assassins, small-scale condottieri, never wanted for business.