Definition of criollo in US English:


(also Criollo)

nounPlural Criollos, Plural criollos

  • 1A person from Spanish South or Central America, especially one of pure Spanish descent.

    • ‘The historical Mexican criollo likewise suffered because of a deep sense of national and continental identity.’
    • ‘In the twentieth century, the men's loincloths were made of a bright red cloth obtained from the criollos (Venezuelans of mixed descent).’
    • ‘A criollo in Argentina is a person or a family descended from Spanish ancestry, in other words, no added mixture of non-Spanish blood.’
    • ‘Spaniards were referred to as Peninsulars, while their South-American-born descendants were called criollos (Creoles).’
    • ‘During this period, private property prevailed in areas controlled by Spanish and criollo communities while communal property remained the standard of indigenous communities.’
    1. 1.1 A horse or other domestic animal of a South or Central American breed.
      • ‘You'll saddle up on Ecuadorian criollos, Andalucians and thoroughbreds, riding South American-style vaquero sillas - sheepskin padded for long hours in the saddle.’
      • ‘On this 140-mile journey, you'll visit fishing villages atop South American criollo horses, fuel up on lamb and steak, and gaze at capybaras (the world's largest rodents).’
      • ‘The farm belongs to rancher Ramon Sierra, who, with son-in-law Hector Soto Vargas, is providing sturdy Patagonian criollo horses, still shaggy in their winter coats, to get us up the Soler.’
      • ‘Trot beside breaking waves with your criollo steed at Playa Negra, one of Costa Rica's best surf breaks, and stay in beachfront bungalows.’
      • ‘Fig 5 shows the relatedness of the seven criollo breeds.’
  • 2A cacao tree of a variety producing thin-shelled beans of high quality.

    • ‘Most of their beans are criollo hybrids, which is considered the best cacao available today.’
    • ‘Older, ‘gran cru’ trees yield finer criollo and trinitario cacao beans, which are more flavorful than the lesser beans.’
    • ‘The three main varieties of cacao beans used in the production of chocolate are criollo, forastero and trinitario.’
    • ‘The best chocolate is 100% criollo or a blend of that and trinitario.’
    • ‘Chuaco is the Montrachet of chocolate and still attracts the great chocolatiers of France and Italy, who fight over infinitesimal amounts of the finest criollo cacao in the world.’


Late 19th century: Spanish, literally ‘native to the locality’ (see Creole).