One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Portuguese colonies: (the title of) a nobleman acting as a representative of the Portuguese government and governing a captaincy.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Duke of Wellington (1769–1852), army officer and prime minister. From Portuguese capitão mor from capitão + mor.
capitao mor/ˌkapɪtaʊ ˈmɔː/
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