Definition of Mixtec in English:



  • 1A member of an indigenous people of southern Mexico, noted for their skill in pottery and metallurgy.

    • ‘A major feature of the transnational movement was the formation of ethnic enclaves by both Mixtecs and Zapotecs in major employment centers at destinations.’
    • ‘The sculptures depict the sacred symbolism used in the costumes of the Zapotecs and Mixtecs, two of the main pre-Hispanic societies of Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca.’
    • ‘Zapotec influence disappeared, although the site was partially reoccupied by the Mixtec.’
    • ‘He argues that the Aztecs and Mixtecs had their own history and their own writing systems and should be understood and appreciated as such without necessary reference to the Old World.’
    • ‘The author has produced a work on the Mixtecs of colonial Mexico which rivals the best of that on any of these other better-known and documented groups.’
  • 2The Otomanguean language of the Mixtec, spoken by about 250,000 people in several dialects.

    • ‘After dropping out of music school, she was back home in Oaxaca, Mexico, when a neighbour asked her to translate a document from English into Mixtec.’
    • ‘All of these elements are rallied into a cohesive whole, whether she is singing in English, Spanish or any one of four native Indian languages, including the Mixtec of her own background.’
    • ‘My nephew tried to organize these farmworkers, only to discover that they did not speak Spanish and he spoke no Mixtec.’
    • ‘The typical resident is 18 years old, speaks Spanish or Mixtec, and works all day in the blast-furnace desert heat.’
    • ‘On stage, she is like a woman possessed, speaking in many tongues - her mother's Mixtec, the florid Castillian of romantic ballads, and the oaky English of North American folksongs.’


  • Relating to the Mixtec or their language.

    • ‘She came to Oregon from her Mixtec community in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1987, following her husband, who was legalized that same year.’
    • ‘As with the Nahua-speaking Aztecs of central Mexico during the same era, a three-stage scheme of language change seems to fit the Mixtec case.’
    • ‘The region was dominated by confederacies of Mixtec and Zapotec royal families, who constantly expanded their control through marriage alliances.’
    • ‘Terraciano rightly points to the ways in which Christian formulas in Mixtec testaments can mask a most unorthodox Christianity.’
    • ‘Terraciano has a number of distinguished predecessors, among them Ronald Spores, who threw light on many aspects of prehispanic, colonial, and modern Mixtec affairs.’


Spanish, from Nahuatl mixtecah ‘person from a cloudy place’.