[ 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 forms

In·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 incas

British Dictionary definitions for incas


/ (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 Forms

Incan, 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

Culture definitions for incas


A Native American people who built a notable civilization in western South America in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The center of their empire was in present-day Peru. Francisco Pizarro of Spain conquered the Inca Empire.

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.