Definition of comprador in US English:


(also compradore)


  • A person within a country who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation.

    • ‘Capitalist globalization has created new groups of what can be termed indigenous globalizers, aspiring members of the transnational capitalist class who have replaced the old compradors.’
    • ‘The second is that successful imperialism (that is what it is) requires large and influential local comprador classes willing to be junior partners in governing the colonial state and society.’
    • ‘Their aim is to establish themselves as compradors for international capital in the north and east of the island and elsewhere in the region.’
    • ‘That havoc was largely covered up by the comprador bourgeoisie and their ilk.’
    • ‘Many foreign merchants traded with the Chinese through compradores, who acted either as salaried employees or independent agents.’
    • ‘The compradors want to have their cake and eat it.’
    • ‘The ‘war’ was a logistical disaster: suppressed by the most ruthless techniques available to what might in other periods be termed the comprador bourgeois classes.’


Early 17th century (denoting a local person employed in a European household in SE Asia or India to make small purchases and keep the household accounts): from Portuguese, ‘buyer’, from late Latin comparator, from Latin comparare ‘to purchase’, from com- ‘with’ + parare ‘provide’.