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[gwah-tuh-mah-luh; Spanish gwah-te-mah-lah] /ˌgwɑ təˈmɑ lə; Spanish ˌgwɑ tɛˈmɑ lɑ/
a republic in N Central America. 42,042 sq. mi. (108,889 sq. km).
Also called Guatemala City. a city in and the capital of this republic.
Related forms
Guatemalan, adjective, noun
pro-Guatemalan, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Guatemala
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The natives of Guatemala, a country of America, were used with great barbarity.

  • Berlin asked for his arrest and extradition and von Holleuffer fled to Guatemala.

    Secret Armies John L. Spivak
  • Pedro de Angulo and his companion reached Guatemala in 1539.

    The Annals of the Cakchiquels Daniel G. Brinton
  • Vampire bats are more common in Nicaragua, but also exist in Guatemala.

  • I say to him: "Strong, big mans is need very much in Guatemala."

British Dictionary definitions for Guatemala


a republic in Central America: original Maya Indians conquered by the Spanish in 1523; became the centre of Spanish administration in Central America; gained independence and was annexed to Mexico in 1821, becoming an independent republic in 1839. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: quetzal and US dollar. Capital: Guatemala City. Pop: 14 373 472 (2013 est). Area: 108 889 sq km (42 042 sq miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Guatemala

from words in a native language, variously identified as Quauhtemellan "land of the eagle" or Uhatzmalha "mountain where water gushes."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Guatemala in Culture

Guatemala definition

Republic in Central America, bordered by Mexico to the west and north, Belize and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Its capital and largest city is Guatemala City.

Note: The country is noted for its particularly low average income and literacy rate.
Note: It is traditionally unstable politically.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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