A big-wig, the great boss of the place. It is a Spanish word
for “his excellency” (adelantar , to excel), and is given to the
governor of a province.
“Open no door. If the adelantado of Spain were here he should not enter.”
Every Man out of his Humour, v. 4.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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