Definition of teocalli in English:



  • A temple of the Aztecs or other Mexican peoples, typically standing on a truncated pyramid.

    • ‘The teocallis of the former are probably the greatest ancient wonders and curiosities on the Western Continent.’
    • ‘Around the teocallis their were large sculptures.’
    • ‘In addition, Mr. Bellecourt travels with Mexican elders to visit the pyramids of the sun and moon, teocallis in Nahuatl, the Aztec earth history calendar at the Museum of Anthropology, and the grandmother moon-time calendar, Coyolxauiqui.’
    • ‘There were several teocallis or sacred turrets, and on their flat roofs flamed the never-dying fires.’
    • ‘On top of the Mexican teocallis - a truncated, or polled pyramid, with a temple atop - stood two colossal statues, one to the sun, the other to the moon.’
    • ‘I just remember Cortez ordering his cannon to fire and the Spaniards marching around the bloodstained teocallis and little else.’
    • ‘Having accomplished this good work, the Spaniards descended the winding slopes of the teocalli with more free and buoyant step, as if conscious that the blessing of Heaven now rested on their arms.’
    • ‘Thus, it is the ‘house of god,’ a temple, or a teocalli in Nahuatl.’


American Spanish, from Nahuatl teo:kalli, from teo:tl god + kalli house.