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maya

[mah-yah, -yuh] /ˈmɑ yɑ, -yə/
noun, Hinduism.
1.
the power, as of a god, to produce illusions.
2.
the production of an illusion.
3.
(in Vedantic philosophy) the illusion of the reality of sensory experience and of the experienced qualities and attributes of oneself.
4.
(initial capital letter). Also called Mahamaya. a goddess personifying the power that creates phenomena.
Origin of maya
1815-1825
Borrowed into English from Sanskrit around 1815-25
Related forms
mayan, adjective

Maya

[mah-yuh] /ˈmɑ yə/
noun, plural Mayas (especially collectively) Maya.
1.
a member of a major pre-Columbian civilization of the Yucatán Peninsula that reached its peak in the 9th century a.d. and produced magnificent ceremonial cities with pyramids, a sophisticated mathematical and calendar system, hieroglyphic writing, and fine sculpture, painting, and ceramics.
2.
a member of a modern American Indian people of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of Honduras who are the descendants of this ancient civilization.
3.
any of the Mayan languages; the historical and modern languages of the Mayas.
adjective
4.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mayas
Historical Examples
  • To mayas horror it left one dead bee after another in its wake.

  • The architectural skill of the mayas must have been of a very high order.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • There is no question that such was the case with the brief and bloody revolt of the mayas in 1761.

    Nagualism Daniel G. Brinton
  • We will now turn our attention to the ruins in the territory of the mayas.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • The Nahuas on the north and the mayas on the south included the civilized nations.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • The mayas are said to have placed the commencement of the year about the sixteenth of July.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • Now, although they were said to be nameless days, the mayas gave them names.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • We give a table showing the arrangement of the days of the year among the mayas.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • We can not affirm that we know this to be true of the mayas.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • We have found a number of points of resemblance between the mayas and the Nahuas.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
British Dictionary definitions for mayas

maya

/ˈmaɪə; ˈmɑːjə; ˈmɑːjɑː/
noun
1.
(Hinduism) illusion, esp the material world of the senses regarded as illusory
Derived Forms
mayan, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Sanskrit

Maya1

/ˈmaɪə; ˈmɑːjə; ˈmɑːjɑː/
noun
1.
the Hindu goddess of illusion, the personification of the idea that the material world is illusory
Derived Forms
Mayan, adjective

Maya2

/ˈmaɪə/
noun
1.
Also called Mayan, (pl) -ya, -yas. a member of an American Indian people of Yucatan, Belize, and N Guatemala, having an ancient culture once characterized by outstanding achievements in architecture, astronomy, chronology, painting, and pottery
2.
the language of this people See also Mayan
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 mayas

Maya

1822, from the native name. Related: Mayan (1831).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mayas in Culture
Mayas [(meye-uhz)]

A Native American people, living in what is now Mexico and northern Central America, who had a flourishing civilization from before the birth of Jesus until around 1600, when they were conquered by the Spanish. The Mayas are known for their astronomical observations, accurate calendars, sophisticated hieroglyphics, and pyramids.

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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