[zap-uh-tek, zah-puh-; Spanish sah-paw-tek]
- a member of an American Indian people living in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
- the Oto-Manguean language of the Zapotecs, consisting of a number of highly divergent dialects.
- Archaeology. of or relating to a Mesoamerican Indian civilization of the Oaxaca region of Mexico c600 b.c. to a.d. 1000, characterized by a bar-and-dot system of enumeration, a calendar of Mayan derivation, ball courts, and underground frescoed tombs.
Origin of Zapotec
< Mexican Spanish zapoteco < Nahuatl tzapotēcah, plural of tzapotēcatl person from Tzapotlān (tzapo(tl) sapodilla + -tēcatl suffix of personal nouns, -tlān locative suffix)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for zapotec
The Zapotec language is still spoken by about 260 natives in the State of Oajaca.Man, Past and Present
Agustus Henry Keane
He was a young man, an indian in the usual dress, apparently a Zapotec.
It will be remembered that this town is Zapotec, Coatlan being the last Mixe town.
The women dress much like the Zapotec women in the neighboring towns.
He has already published a grammar of the Zapotec, as spoken in his village.
- Also: Zapotecan (ˌzæpəʊˈtɛkən, ˌzɑː-) plural -tecs or -tec any member of a large tribe of central American Indians inhabiting S Mexico, esp the Mexican state of Oaxaca
- the group of languages spoken by this people
- Also: Zapotecan of or relating to this people or their language
from Spanish Zapoteca, from Nahuatl Tzapoteca, literally: people of the land of the sapodillas, from tzapotl sapodilla