Definition of Aztec in US English:

Aztec

noun

  • 1A member of the indigenous people dominant in Mexico before the Spanish conquest of the 16th century.

    • ‘The Aztecs inherited from the Toltec and the Maya the practice of human sacrifice.’
    • ‘Look at the Aztecs, the Incas, Mesopotamia, the Mongols, The Europeans, Timbuktu, China, Japan.’
    • ‘The discussion was about how the Aztecs and the Incas were establishing empires.’
    • ‘The technique was later used by 12 th century Aztecs in the floating fields of Xochimilco.’
    • ‘I vividly remember when I first became fascinated by the Aztecs of Mexico.’
    • ‘According to the exhibit commentary, the Aztecs excavated the major Olmec sites, in a quest for their past.’
    • ‘The Spanish assault upon the Aztecs is a presiding symbol of Western brutality and colonialism.’
    • ‘Even though they weren't the most sophisticated culture, or the most refined compared to, say, the Maya, the Aztecs were highly expressive.’
    • ‘It's been consumed for centuries - Aztecs used to harvest it from a now obliterated lake in the spot where Mexico city is built.’
    • ‘Youngsters in three classes have this term been learning about the Aztecs who ruled over modern day Mexico before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.’
    • ‘In Los Montezumas, the confrontation of the Spanish and Aztecs in Mexico is acted out.’
    • ‘Pre-Columbian civilisations such as the Inca and the Aztecs failed to turn the wheel from a toy into a practical tool.’
    • ‘The Aztecs had conquered the Nahuatl and perhaps had even sacrificed a few of Juan's relatives to the hungry gods.’
    • ‘In 1521, Spanish conquerers captured Mexico City from the Aztecs.’
    • ‘There must've been a point when the Aztecs realized the Spanish weren't supernatural beings and could be killed.’
    • ‘But there is a painting of her wearing a mask of La Malinche, the Indian mistress of the Spanish conqueror of the Aztecs.’
    • ‘Between Mayas and Aztecs came the Toltecs, who incised five holes on their human-bone flutes.’
    • ‘Any one of the late agrarian empires in Eurasia could, in principle, have overwhelmed the Incas and the Aztecs almost as easily as the Spaniards did.’
    • ‘The Mayans, Incas and Aztecs all have had their creation myths, but these tell us equally little about how their societies actually came into being.’
    • ‘And after his conquest of the Aztecs, Mexico City was built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan.’
  • 2The extinct language of the Aztecs, a Uto-Aztecan language from which modern Nahuatl is descended.

    • ‘A descendant of the now extinct Aztec, the language of the ancient Aztec empire, Nahuatl is spoken today by approximately 1 million people, mainly in Mexico.’
    • ‘However, the greatest number of Nicaraguanisms come from Aztec and Nahuat languages.’
    • ‘St Luke's gospel was published in Mexican, or Aztec, in 1833.’

adjective

  • Relating to the Aztecs or their language.

    • ‘We recently wrote about the practice of cannibalism by Aztec royalty in ‘Celebrating the Aztecs’ and ‘Why the Aztecs?’’
    • ‘She was able to incorporate elements of pop culture, Indian, Aztec mythology, surrealism, a whole variety of things in which many people can identify.’
    • ‘This Sunday various Mexican and Latin American cultural organizations will be holding a kermes, or fair, in memory of the destruction of the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.’
    • ‘They were grown by the Aztec emperor Montezuma, revered in ancient China and cultivated in medieval Iceland because of their supposed aphrodisiac properties.’
    • ‘For Mesoamerica, evidently, the foodways described under Aztec food and Maya food have constituted important culinary traditions whose influence can still be detected.’
    • ‘While studying Aztec civilization, however, Morriss had discovered something else strange and intriguing, rarely mentioned and little researched.’
    • ‘Ancient Mayan Inca and Aztec women believed that avocados fed the skin from the inside and outside.’
    • ‘These migrating groups of people brought with them the Aztec language and culture, both of which persist in various forms today in Nicaragua.’
    • ‘Left in charge of Tenochtitlán in 1520, his brutality sparked a temporarily successful Aztec revolt.’
    • ‘He relates the story of the Aztec leader Montezuma who was unsure of what to make of the arrival of Cortez and his Spanish troops.’
    • ‘The priests in Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, climbed to the top of their sky watchers' temple on the Hill of the Star to witness this auspicious sign.’
    • ‘The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, lord of life and death, is a composite figure, an intermediary between creatures.’
    • ‘The Memorial is to be shaped in the likeness of the Aztec God of Hope, ‘Quetzalcoatl,’ a feathered serpent.’
    • ‘In 1434 the rulers of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán formed the so-called Triple Alliance with the rulers of Texcoco and Tlacopan.’
    • ‘Made from the beans of the tropical plant Theobroma cacao, cocoa was a favorite drink of ancient Maya and Aztec people in Mesoamerica.’
    • ‘Not like the Inca or Aztec civilizations, Colombian Indians lived in a more compact area.’
    • ‘And Chef Jody reminds us about Aztec emperor Montezuma, who according to legend drank 40 glasses of hot chocolate a day, convinced it would make him powerful.’
    • ‘The first evidence of caffeine use is from Aztec records during the time of the leader Montezuma.’
    • ‘They looked more like Aztec or Mayan symbols, but in a Romanized kind of style.’
    • ‘The inside could be likened to an Mayan or Aztec temple of ancient times.’

Origin

From French Aztèque or Spanish Azteca, from Nahuatl aztecatl ‘person of Aztlan’, their legendary place of origin.

Pronunciation

Aztec

/ˈaztek//ˈæztɛk/