• synonyms


[tee-uh-kal-ee, tey-uh-kah-lee; Spanish te-aw-kah-yee]
noun, plural te·o·cal·lis [tee-uh-kal-eez, tey-uh-kah-leez; Spanish te-aw-kah-yees] /ˌti əˈkæl iz, ˌteɪ əˈkɑ liz; Spanish ˌtɛ ɔˈkɑ yis/.
  1. a ceremonial structure of the Aztecs, consisting of a truncated terraced pyramid supporting a temple.
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Origin of teocalli

1605–15; < Nahuatl, equivalent to teō(tl) god + calli house
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for teocalli

Historical Examples

  • On an island, in the land of Aztlan, stands a teocalli, like the temples of worship in Mexico.


    Susan Hale

  • Its form, like that of the other Mexican teocalli, was a truncated cone.

  • Then he turned to view the teocalli, which he found not unworthy of his regard.

  • In the midst arose the huge mound of the teocalli, menacing, formidable.

  • He was then conducted to a teocalli some three miles from the city of Mexico.

British Dictionary definitions for teocalli


noun plural -lis
  1. any of various truncated pyramids built by the Aztecs as bases for their temples
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Word Origin

C17: from Nahuatl, from teotl god + calli house
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 teocalli


1570s, from American Spanish, from Nahuatl (Aztec) teohcalli, literally "temple, church," from teotl "god" + calli "house."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper