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[hi-span-ik] /hɪˈspæn ɪk/
of or relating to Spanish-speaking Latin America:
the United States and its Hispanic neighbors.
Also, Hispano
[hi-span-oh, -spah-noh] /hɪˈspæn oʊ, -ˈspɑ noʊ/ (Show IPA)
. of or relating to people of Spanish-speaking descent: Hispanic students; the Hispanic vote;
Hispanic communities.
Compare Latino (def 1).
Also called Hispano-American [hi-span-oh-uh-mer-i-kuh n, -spah-noh] /hɪˈspæn oʊ əˈmɛr ɪ kən, -ˈspɑ noʊ/ (Show IPA), Hispanic American. a citizen or resident of the United States who is of Spanish or Spanish-speaking Latin-American descent.
Compare Latino (def 2).
a person whose primary or native language is Spanish.
Origin of Hispanic
From the Latin word hispānicus, dating back to 1575-85. See Hispania, -ic
Related forms
Hispanically, adverb
non-Hispanic, adjective
pre-Hispanic, adjective
trans-Hispanic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for prehispanic
Historical Examples
  • It is seen that Mexico, in prehispanic times, was fairly well populated—comparatively speaking, of course.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • It is not possible to determine this, as it is involved in the obscure history of the races of prehispanic days.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • With the little adjoining State of Tlaxcala it was the home of the Aztec and other republics or oligarchies of prehispanic days.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
British Dictionary definitions for prehispanic


relating to, characteristic of, or derived from Spain or Spanish-speaking countries
(US) a person of Latin-American or Spanish descent living in the US
Usage note
his is the word most generally used in the US to refer to people of Latin American or Spanish ancestry
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 prehispanic



"pertaining to Spain" (especially ancient Spain) 1580s, from Latin Hispanicus, from Hispania "Iberian Peninsula," from Hispanus "Spaniard" (see Spaniard). Specific application to Spanish-speaking parts of the New World is 1889, American English; especially applied since c.1972 to Spanish-speaking persons of Latin American descent living in U.S.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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