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[tawr-tee-uh; Spanish tawr-tee-yah] /tɔrˈti ə; Spanish tɔrˈti yɑ/
noun, plural tortillas
[tawr-tee-uh z; Spanish tawr-tee-yahs] /tɔrˈti əz; Spanish tɔrˈti yɑs/ (Show IPA).
Mexican Cookery.
a thin, round, unleavened bread prepared from cornmeal or sometimes wheat flour, baked on a flat plate of iron, earthenware, or the like.
Origin of tortilla
1690-1700; < Spanish, equivalent to tort(a) cake (see torte) + -illa diminutive suffix < Latin -ella Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tortilla
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The tortilla is said to be the most nutritious of all foods prepared from maize.

    On the Mexican Highlands William Seymour Edwards
  • A few beans, a tortilla, is all the food they have, and often not even that.

  • If you could not manage with the tortilla, you were excused for using your fingers.

  • They flung him a tortilla or two, and he had plenty of water, but what he wanted most was rest.

    The Texan Star

    Joseph A. Altsheler
  • The tortilla is then patted out into the form of a thin pancake and baked in an earthenware dish, or casuela.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
British Dictionary definitions for tortilla


(Mexican cookery) a kind of thin pancake made from corn meal and cooked on a hot griddle until dry
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish: a little cake, from torta a round cake, from Late Latin; see torte
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 tortilla

1690s, from American Spanish tortilla, from Spanish, "a tart," literally "a little cake," diminutive of torta "cake," from Late Latin torta "flat cake" (see torte).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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