[ ket-sahl ]

noun,plural quet·zals, quet·za·les [ket-sah-leys]. /kɛtˈsɑ leɪs/.
  1. any of several large Central and South American trogons of the genus Pharomachrus, having golden-green and scarlet plumage, especially P. mocino(resplendent quetzal ), the national bird of Guatemala: rare and possibly endangered.

  2. a paper money and monetary unit of Guatemala, equal to 100 centavos. Abbreviation: Q.

Origin of quetzal

First recorded in 1820–30; from Latin American Spanish, from Nahuatl quetzalli “plumage of the quetzal bird”
  • Also que·zal [ke-sahl]. /kɛˈsɑl/.

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British Dictionary definitions for quetzal


quezal (kɛˈsɑːl)

/ (ˈkɛtsəl) /

nounplural -zals or -zales (-ˈsɑːlɛs)
  1. Also called: resplendent trogon a crested bird, Pharomachrus mocinno, of Central and N South America, which has a brilliant green, red, and white plumage and, in the male, long tail feathers: family Trogonidae, order Trogoniformes (trogons)

  2. the standard monetary unit of Guatemala, divided into 100 centavos

Origin of quetzal

via American Spanish from Nahuatl quetzalli brightly coloured tail feather

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