Definition of Uto-Aztecan in English:



  • Relating to or denoting a language family of Central America and western North America including Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs), Shoshone, and Paiute.

    • ‘The Uto-Aztecan language Huichol, for example, deploys different sets of switch-reference markers to encode different tenses.’
    • ‘The three main Paiute groups spoke mutually unintelligible languages of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.’
    • ‘The westernmost of the Pueblo Indian tribes, the independent Hopi Nation is the only Pueblo tribe that speaks a Shoshonean language of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family.’
    • ‘They speak their own language, derived from native Uto-Aztecan dialects, although some also speak Spanish.’
    • ‘As a result, they have been lumped together under a classification the Spaniards referred to as Cahita, which is closely linked to the Uto-Aztecan language.’


mass noun
  • The Uto-Aztecan language family.

    • ‘Most Hopi speak Uto-Aztecan.’
    • ‘The party exchanges gifts with the local inhabitants, who speak Uto-Aztecan, and leaves the next morning.’
    • ‘Uto-Aztecan is one of the largest language families of North and Central America in terms of population, linguistic diversity and geographic distribution.’