Dulcinea del Toboso is an imaginary noble young woman who is unseen in the novel. Don Quijote believes he must have a lady, under the mistaken view that chivalry requires it. As he does not have one, he invents her, making her the very model of female perfection.
Dulcinea's name is based on the Spanish word "dulce" (sweet), and suggests an overly elegant "sweetness". To this day, a reference to someone as one's "Dulcinea" implies idealistic devotion and love for that woman.