Definition of teocalli in US English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The teocallis of the former are probably the greatest ancient wonders and curiosities on the Western Continent.’


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