aztecs

Aztec

[az-tek]
noun
1.
a member of a Nahuatl-speaking state in central Mexico that was conquered by Cortés in 1521.
2.
Also called classical Nahuatl. the variety of Nahuatl that served as the medium of Aztec civilization, aboriginally written in a chiefly pictographic script. Compare Nahuatl ( def 2 ).
3.
the Nahuatl language.

Origin:
1780–90; < Spanish azteca < Nahuatl aztēcah, plural of aztēcatl person from Aztlān, the legendary place of origin of the Aztecs

Aztecan, adjective
post-Aztec, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Aztec (ˈæztɛk)
 
n
1.  a member of a Mexican Indian people who established a great empire, centred on the valley of Mexico, that was overthrown by Cortés and his followers in the early 16th century
2.  See also Nahuatl the language of the Aztecs
 
adj
3.  of, relating to, or characteristic of the Aztecs, their civilization, or their language
 
[C18: from Spanish Azteca, from Nahuatl Aztecatl, from Aztlan, their traditional place of origin, literally: near the cranes, from azta cranes + tlan near]

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Word Origin & History

Aztec
1787, from Sp. Azteca, from Nahuatl aztecatl (plural aztecah), meaning "coming from Aztlan," name of their legendary place of origin, usually said to lie somewhere in what is now southwestern U.S.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Aztecs definition


A Native American people who ruled Mexico and neighboring areas before the Spaniards conquered the region in the sixteenth century. Starting in the twelfth century, they built up an advanced civilization and empire. (See Hernando Cortés and Montezuma.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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