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

  • n. An early Mesoamerican Indian civilization centered in the Veracruz region of southeast Mexico that flourished between 1300 and 400 B.C., whose cultural influence was widespread throughout southern Mexico and Central America.
  • n. A member of any of various peoples sharing the Olmec culture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of an ancient pre-Columbian people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in what are roughly the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.

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

  • n. a member of an early Mesoamerican civilization centered around Veracruz that flourished between 1300 and 400 BC


Nahuatl, meaning rubber lineage (compare Nahuatl olliĀ ("rubber")). (Wiktionary)


  • Olmec translates as "rubber people" in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec).

    Museum Blogs

  • It is believed that the original game, known as ulama (from the Nahuatl word "olli" meaning rubber), was invented by the Olmecs (the word Olmec is also believed to be derived from the Nahuatl word "olli") around 1500BC.

    History of Sport Resulting in Sudden Death Near Puerto Vallarta

  • WITHOUT a word Olmec balled his free hand into a huge fist and stretched the wounded warrior senseless at his feet.

    The Conquering Sword of Conan

  • Without a word Olmec balled his free hand into a huge fist and stretched the wounded warrior senseless at his feet.

    Conan The Warrior

  • Not until 1942 was it publicly asserted that the Olmec was the " mother culture " of Mesoamerica i.e., Mexico plus Central America.

    Mysteries Carved in Stone

  • Veracruz was the home of the Olmec, which is considered the mother culture of Mexico.

    Veracruz: traveling the Central High Plains of Mexico

  • These people think the Olmec are the most evil thing they've got to worry about, but they're wrong.

    Time Trial

  • The name " Olmec " or " rubber people " was given to the oldest-known culture in the Americas almost 2,000 years after that culture had disappeared, and was accepted by scholars only in 1932.

    Mysteries Carved in Stone

  • Given this distribution, archaeologists use the term "Olmec" to signify both an archaeological culture -- the Olmec of the Gulf -- and Mesoamerica's first widespread art style, which transcended cultural boundaries and set the stage for later developments.

    The Americas' First Colony?

  • The most impressive of them is the exhibition of monumental sculptures from the ancient Olmec civilization, which flourished in Mexico in the 2nd and 1st millennia BC.

    Edward Goldman: Art Behaving Badly


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