- a member of any of the dominant groups of South American Indian peoples who established an empire in Peru prior to the Spanish conquest.
- a ruler or member of the royal family in the Incan empire.
Origin of Inca
1585–95; < Spanish < Quechua inka ruler of the Inca state
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inca
How did the Inca get giant blocks of stone up mountains 500 years ago without the use of wheels?The Real-Life Raiders of the Lost Ark
November 14, 2014
Especially when the leader in question is that Inca of Incas, the president of the United States.What the Rest of the World Thinks of America’s Shutdown
October 3, 2013
Among the Inca, quinoa was known as “chisaya mama” or “the mother grain,” and was treated with ritual ceremony.The Perfect Quinoa
February 2, 2010
The Inca enters with Yma Sumac, followed by the whole strength of the company.
In a soliloquy he declares himself the implacable enemy of Cuzco and the Inca.
The Inca indulges in extravagant expressions of love for his daughter.
She proves to be the sister of the Inca and the wife of Ollantay.
He was quite confident that the Inca was trying to lure them on to their ruin.Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi
John S. C. Abbott
- a member of a South American Indian people whose great empire centred on Peru lasted from about 1100 ad to the Spanish conquest in the early 1530s and is famed for its complex culture
- the ruler or king of this empire or any member of his family
- the language of the IncasSee also Quechua
C16: from Spanish, from Quechua inka king
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
Word Origin and History for inca
1590s, from Spanish Inga (1520s), from Quechea Inca, literally "lord, king." Technically, only of the high Inca, but it was used widely for "man of royal blood."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper