Conquistadors (/kɒnˈk(w)ɪstədɔːrz/, US also /-ˈkiːs-, kɒŋˈ-/) or conquistadores (Spanish: [koŋkistaˈðoɾes], Portuguese: [kũkiʃtɐˈdoɾis, kõkiʃtɐˈðoɾɨʃ]; meaning ‘conquerors’) were the explorer-soldiers of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires of the 15th and 16th Centuries. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to the Americas, Oceania, Africa, and Asia, colonizing and opening trade routes. They brought much of the Americas under the dominion of Spain and Portugal.