Definition of Toltec in English:



  • 1A member of an indigenous people that flourished in Mexico before the Aztecs.

    • ‘The beginning emphasizes the pre-Columbian presence of multiple and complex cultures by referring to the creation stories of the Toltecs, the Aztecs, the Menomini, and many others.’
    • ‘The Aztecs, for example, admired and collected the art of their predecessors, the Toltecs and Olmecs.’
    • ‘The god Quetzalcoatl had supposedly brought it to an end among the Toltecs half a millennium before.’
    • ‘The Maya, Olmecs, Toltecs, and Aztecs built cities and pyramids.’
    • ‘During the second period of occupancy there is a notable difference in the architecture, the later structures decidedly influenced by the Toltecs.’
    • ‘In addition Toltecs and Aztecs sometimes burned a dog with a human corpse in the belief that the latter's sins would thus be transferred to the dog.’
    • ‘Artifacts found at Chaco suggest that the community had trade ties with people as far away as Mexico, such as the Toltecs.’
    • ‘Archaeological evidence indicates that the jicama was grown by all the major early Mesoamerican civilizations, including the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec.’
    • ‘Quetzalcoatl, the ‘plumed-serpent,’ is one of the major gods of the Toltecs and Aztecs.’
    • ‘Every continent has its fallen giants - the Inca, Maya, Aztec, Toltec, Olmec, and Anasazi of the Americas; Rome, Greece, Byzantium, Assyria, Egypt around the Mediterranean.’
    • ‘The Aztecs, the Toltecs, the Inca, the Maya, etc., are proof enough that the Nazca did not need extraterrestrial help to create their art gallery in the desert.’
    • ‘The Toltecs of Tula, just north of Mexico City, revered him until the early part of the last millennium, when a new god, Tezcatlipoca, supplanted him.’
    • ‘Archeologists and researchers considered the Maya, cultivators of maize and expensive cacao, to be a priestly, comparatively passive civilization, especially in contrast to their neighbors to the north, the Toltecs and Aztecs.’
    • ‘Highly developed cultures, including those of the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs, and Aztecs existed long before the Spanish conquest.’
    • ‘Between Mayas and Aztecs came the Toltecs, who incised five holes on their human-bone flutes.’
    • ‘The Aztecs inherited from the Toltec and the Maya the practice of human sacrifice.’
  • 2The language of the Toltecs.


  • Relating to the Toltecs.

    • ‘Having little to offer other than their reputation as warriors, the Mexica hired themselves out as mercenaries to rival Toltec factions.’
    • ‘Other civilizations subsequently became important technological centres, notably those of Greece and Rome, the Arab empire of the 7th to 10th centuries, and the Mayan, Aztec, and Toltec civilizations of the American continent.’
    • ‘Chichen Itza is a sacred Mayan and Toltec site.’
    • ‘To soothe Acolhua civic and ethnic pride, Tetzcoco's rulers and historians conceived of their city as the empire's cultural capital, the true heir to Toltec civilization.’
    • ‘In front of each of the men sits a round, cloth-wrapped bundle; on top of the left-hand bundle is a hooked stick, either a carrying stick or an atlatl (dart thrower), the Toltec weapon.’
    • ‘Inside lay the remains of an entire wardrobe, headdress, and mask for a priest of the Temple of Tlaloc, the ancient Toltec god of rain and fertility whose shrine stood next to that of Huitzilopochtli at the summit of the pyramid.’
    • ‘Maya culture remained, albeit in slightly different form, flourishing in northern parts of Yucatán down to AD 1000 when Toltec invasions caused further changes.’


Via Spanish from Nahuatl toltecatl, literally ‘a person from Tula’ (see Tula).