Main meanings of maya in English

: maya1Maya2


Pronunciation /ˈmɑːjə/

Translate maya into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1Hinduism
    The supernatural power wielded by gods and demons.

    • ‘And these demons were so expert with maya, they would create darkness, expand into various forms etc.’
    1. 1.1Hinduism Buddhism The power by which the universe becomes manifest; the illusion or appearance of the phenomenal world.
      ‘As one example, the Agamic tradition does not regard the physical and spiritual worlds as mere maya or illusion, but rather considers them sacred creation, the visible form of the Supreme God.’
      • ‘Each individual has to burn out his own karma and escape from the chains of maya, reincarnation, and all that.’
      • ‘Sure, there is maya, there is illusion, but again all of that is created through our filters and shields of denials that we often choose to hide behind!’
      • ‘God created soul and maya (the world) with His Divine Power and then it is controlled by His Command.’
      • ‘The latter symbolizes that egoistic force of maya (the everyday world) which deludes individuals and keeps them from knowing their innate nature as god.’


From Sanskrit māyā, from mā ‘create’.

Main meanings of Maya in English

: maya1Maya2


Pronunciation /ˈmʌɪ(j)ə/ /ˈmeɪ(j)ə/

Translate Maya into Spanish

nounMaya, Mayas

  • 1A member of an indigenous people of Yucatán and elsewhere in Central America.

    ‘Highly developed cultures, including those of the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs, and Aztecs existed long before the Spanish conquest.’
    • ‘The great civilisations of Central America - Toltecs, Aztecs and Mayas - were dangerously short of protein, with only the occasional big guinea pig for Sunday lunch.’
    • ‘Between Mayas and Aztecs came the Toltecs, who incised five holes on their human-bone flutes.’
    • ‘They gave bangles for African slaves, opium for the silver of China and beads for the gold of the Incas and Mayas of South America.’
    • ‘The heirs to the Incas and the Mayas, and those of the myriad other Indian nations that peopled the continent in the pre-Columbus era, have a long tradition of resistance.’
    • ‘Much better represented in scholarly literature and the popular imagination would be the Aztecs and Mayas of Mexico and the Incas of Peru.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, by the 1970s it was increasingly difficult for Mayas to continue their mixed subsistence economy, living off the land through horticulture, hunting, and selling of natural resources such as honey and chicle.’
    • ‘This essay examines the shift from a mixed subsistence - based economy to a commercialized tourist-oriented economy from the perspective of indigenous Mayas in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico.’
    • ‘Although a few Mayas settle for steady work in better - paid industries such as construction or fishing, allowing them to support families and maybe even improve their lot, more commonly they flit from job to job in search of better work.’
    • ‘In the short term, these state environmental policies have simultaneously hindered Mayas ' reliance on subsistence economies as well as their ability to profit commercially from tourist development.’
    • ‘Inheritance depends on a witnessed written or oral testament of the deceased, and since many people die without indicating their preferences, family disputes after death are very common among both Mayas and Ladinos.’
    • ‘Conversely, the Mayas, being well advanced in the study of solar astronomy, are said to have been much less vulnerable than earlier European peoples to the appearance of solar eclipses.’
    • ‘It was in their time that a genocide of Mayas took place in Guatemala in the 1980s.’
    • ‘I think my love for mathematics may have come from the Mayas, one of the first civilizations to deeply understand mathematics and astronomy.’
    • ‘We note that ‘the ancient Mayas were passionate smokers and so were their gods.’’
    • ‘They have a description of Hurakan's role in the creation epics of the Mayas.’
    • ‘The dark-haired, dark-eyed Mexican was as tough as those Mayas in his home country he spoke so much about.’
    • ‘Some civilizations, most notably the ancient Greeks and the Maya, firmly resisted empire, finding their main expression as systems of warring city-states.’
    • ‘In this respect and in their more southerly location they were different from the ancient Maya and the Aztecs, with whom it is natural to compare them.’
    • ‘The corn breads of the Aztec and Maya, tortillas and tamales, remain highly visible in Mexico and the rest of what was Mesoamerica, and have become prominent in N. America too, and indeed internationally.’
  • 2mass noun The language of the Maya, still spoken by about half a million people.

The Maya civilization developed in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize from the 2nd millennium BC, reaching its peak c.300–c.900 AD. Its remains include stone temples built on pyramids and ornamented with sculptures. The ancient Mayas used a system of hieroglyphic writing and an extremely accurate calendar system


  • Relating to the Maya or their language.

    ‘Other Maya languages treat the comestible universe in roughly the same manner; and the phenomenon may also be observed in some other cultures.’
    • ‘It documented changes in subsistence patterns and the development of agriculture and village life which underpinned the rise of Olmec, Zapotec, and Maya civilizations.’
    • ‘The modern Guatemalan population is largely descended from Maya ancestors.’
    • ‘Sometimes they flourished as city-state systems, as in early Sumeria, classical Greece, the Maya civilization, and medieval Europe.’
    • ‘The Maya pyramids of Yukatan were built of limestone.’
    • ‘The ancient city of Naachtun is situated in the heart of the Maya region, just one kilometre south of the Mexican border, in far northern Guatemala.’
    • ‘Despite the apparently irregular urban configurations of most ancient cities of the Maya lowlands, at least some Maya centers seem to have been organized according to cruciform urban plans.’
    • ‘Until now, the earliest leftovers of cocoa consumption were in residues from a Maya tomb in Guatemala from A.D. 460 to 480.’
    • ‘But the tomb also contained pottery from Tikal, a Maya city north of Copán, as well as pottery from Copán itself.’
    • ‘The tunnel led to a small building buried beneath a Maya pyramid.’
    • ‘The depiction of a ruler, together with the hieroglyphic inscription, suggests that it had a commemorative function, much like a Maya stele.’
    • ‘He suggests that they indicate that the stone vessel may have originally contained a Maya codex, or ancient book.’
    • ‘Explore the mysteries of a Maya ruin and a local indigenous village.’
    • ‘The mural was found at a Maya ceremonial site called San Bartolo, in Guatemala's Petén lowlands.’

The Maya civilization developed in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize from the 2nd millennium BC, reaching its peak c.300–c.900 AD. Its remains include stone temples built on pyramids and ornamented with sculptures. The ancient Mayas used a system of hieroglyphic writing and an extremely accurate calendar system


The name in Maya.