Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of a people of central Mexico whose civilization was at its height at the time of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century.
  • n. The Nahuatl language of the Aztecs.
  • adj. Of or relating to the Aztecs or their language, culture, or empire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Mexica.
  • n. A Nahua.
  • proper n. The Nahuatl language.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Mexica people.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Nahuas.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Nahuatl language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or relating to one of the early races in Mexico that inhabited the great plateau of that country at the time of the Spanish conquest in 1519.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A member of one of the leading aboriginal tribes of Mexico, which was dominant on the central table-land at the time of the Spanish invasion under Cortes in 1519.
  • Of or pertaining to the Aztecs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of the Nahuatl people who established an empire in Mexico that was overthrown by Cortes in 1519

Etymologies

Spanish Azteca, from Nahuatl Aztecatl, one who comes from the place of the cranes : áztatl, crane + -técatl, suff.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish azteca, from Nahuatl aztēcah, plural of aztēcatl ("inhabitant of Aztlan"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The name Aztec is said to be derived from Aztlan (i.e. aztatl = "heron" and tlantli = lit. "tooth" but signifying "place of"), the Place of the Heron.

    Aztec, Mexica, or Alien?

  • The term Aztec is from Aztlan, an island on a lake far away from the lake in which Tenochtitlan was located.

    Mexico's Name

  • As I walk with Victor, I reach back into my memory that afternoon and think about the little things you hear growing up in a Mexican American border community, where Spanish-language newscasts are played in living rooms and English-language newspapers gather on kitchen tables: soccer scores, the Mexican president announcing this or defending that, that red-green-and-white sash across his breast, gossip from the Tijuana society pages, the word Aztec echoing up and down the vocabulary.

    Down and Delirious in Mexico City

  • ( "Tonight I'm going to put it to the supreme test!" says an inventor in "Aztec Mummy," and a silhouetted Joel replies, "The Cosmo sex quiz?")

    'Cinematic Titanic' re-creates 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' in Washington

  • Typically, She is the daughter, the harvest maiden, the corn virgin, although in Aztec Mexico and Egypt, the grain spirit was Her son.

    Donna Henes: Harvesting Mother Earth's Gifts of Life

  • When a Chinese consul's son is murdered in Aztec territory, The Aztec leader calls upon his daughter's tutor to find the truth.

    REVIEW: Sideways in Crime edited by Lou Anders

  • Of all the ancient concepts of the Ages or Worlds, the Aztec is perhaps the most elaborate involving other major concepts, such as colour, direction, symbols of the time periods, and presiding deities.

    Mesoamerican Religion and Multiverses: Part One

  • Here you can watch the crude black clay being shaped, baked, painted and glazed by descendants of the Totonac Indians, much as it was done in Aztec times.

    Chapala - Mexico's Shangri-la

  • It is clear from the pictorial manuscripts and the written interpretations that the three most important events in Aztec history were their first contact with the peoples around the Valley of Mexico, their first strong foothold at Chapultepec, and the founding of their capital city.

    Early pictorial and written sources of Aztec history

  • On first sight, I was fascinated by our smoky companions ­ Popocatepetl, the most impressive and visible from Mexico City whose name means "Smoking Mountain" in Aztec, and to the south, southwest and southeast, three more cones: one called the Sleeping Virgin due to its profile and the other, supposedly her lover who fumes because she sleeps.

    On the road to becoming an authentic "poblano"

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