[poo l-kee; Spanish pool-ke]

Origin of pulque

Borrowed into English from Mexican Spanish around 1685–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pulque

Historical Examples of pulque

  • This was over a pulque shop, which seemed to be appropriately designated.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • A somewhat peculiar effect of pulque drinking was also mentioned to us.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • And why is it "hardly supposable" that pulque was used at dinner?

  • The fruit also, when expressed, affords the refreshing drink "pulque."

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • The Mexicans have a legend about the origin of their pulque.

    On the Mexican Highlands

    William Seymour Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for pulque


  1. a light alcoholic drink from Mexico made from the juice of various agave plants, esp the maguey

Word Origin for pulque

C17: from Mexican Spanish, apparently from Nahuatl, from puliuhqui decomposed, since it will only keep for a day
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 pulque

1690s, from American Spanish pulque, of unknown origin, said to be a word from Araucanian (native language spoken in part of Chile), or else from some language of Mexico.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper