[ ing-kuh ]
/ ˈɪŋ kə /


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

Related formsIn·ca·ic [ing-key-ik, in-] /ɪŋˈkeɪ ɪk, ɪn-/, adjectiveIn·can, noun, adjectivepseu·do-In·can, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inca

British Dictionary definitions for inca


/ (ˈɪŋkə) /

noun plural -ca or -cas

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
Derived FormsIncan, adjective

Word Origin for Inca

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