Definition of Nahuatl in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈnɑːwɑːt(ə)l//nɑːˈwɑːt(ə)l/


  • 1A member of a group of peoples native to southern Mexico and Central America, including the Aztecs.

    • ‘The Virgin appeared to a poor Indian and spoke to him in the only language he knew, not the conquerors' Spanish, but the native Nahuatl.’
    • ‘This subplot narrates the story of a book written in Latin by Hernando de Rivas, a Nahuatl, during his stay in the convent of Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco.’
    • ‘Earth-boundedness in the symbology of the Nahuatl, the Mexican and central Indian tribes of which the Aztecs were one, contrasts with the spirituality the Virgin of Guadalupe represents.’
    • ‘The professors were a remarkable couple of Native American pastors, Lazaro Gonzalez, a Zapoteco from the State of Oaxaca, and his wife Olivia Dominguez, a Nahuatl from the State of Puebla.’
    • ‘The Aztecs had conquered the Nahuatl and perhaps had even sacrificed a few of Juan's relatives to the hungry gods.’
  • 2[mass noun] The Uto-Aztecan language of the Nahuatl, which has over 1 million speakers.

    • ‘She commanded him-in his native Nahuatl to seek out the head of the Mexican church and ask that a chapel devoted to her be erected on Tepeyac.’
    • ‘Somewhat less familiar will be the author's insistence on including all the original Nahuatl and the additional remarks this sometimes requires.’
    • ‘Chimalpahin wrote in an idiosyncratic Nahuatl not always found in colonial grammars and dictionaries or even in the writings of other Nahuas.’
    • ‘Marina was used to provide the missing link by translating the Nahuatl into Mayan.’
    • ‘He also knows a few words of Nahuatl, the Aztec language.’


  • Relating to the Nahuatl or their language.

    • ‘The narratives do not differ in any substantial manner but the style derived from the Nahuatl one is striking.’
    • ‘Nandachare means ‘yellow river’ in the Nahuatl language.’
    • ‘They therefore tried to enforce the use of the Nahuatl Indian name chilli, and were partially successful.’
    • ‘Two sources, one Nahuatl and the other Spanish, provide the majority of the documentary extracts.’
    • ‘An ocelot has eyes on its skin, but that is purely coincidental; the word comes from the Nahuatl word ocelotl, a jaguar.’


Via Spanish from Nahuatl.