[gwah-tuh-mah-luh; Spanish gwah-te-mah-lah]
  1. a republic in N Central America. 42,042 sq. mi. (108,889 sq. km).
  2. Also called Guatemala City. a city in and the capital of this republic.
Related formsGua·te·ma·lan, adjective, nounpro-Gua·te·ma·lan, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for guatemalan


  1. of or relating to Guatemala or its inhabitants
  1. a native or inhabitant of Guatemala


  1. 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

Word Origin and History for guatemalan


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

guatemalan in Culture


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.


The country is noted for its particularly low average income and literacy rate.


It is traditionally unstable politically.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.