Definition of Mixtec in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmēstek/ /ˈmistɛk/

nounMixtec, Mixtecs

  • 1A member of an indigenous people of southern Mexico, noted for their skill in pottery and metallurgy.

    ‘The sculptures depict the sacred symbolism used in the costumes of the Zapotecs and Mixtecs, two of the main pre-Hispanic societies of Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca.’
    • ‘The author has produced a work on the Mixtecs of colonial Mexico which rivals the best of that on any of these other better-known and documented groups.’
    • ‘He argues that the Aztecs and Mixtecs had their own history and their own writing systems and should be understood and appreciated as such without necessary reference to the Old World.’
    • ‘A major feature of the transnational movement was the formation of ethnic enclaves by both Mixtecs and Zapotecs in major employment centers at destinations.’
    • ‘Zapotec influence disappeared, although the site was partially reoccupied by the Mixtec.’
  • 2The Otomanguean language of the Mixtec.

    ‘All of these elements are rallied into a cohesive whole, whether she is singing in English, Spanish or any one of four native Indian languages, including the Mixtec of her own background.’
    • ‘The typical resident is 18 years old, speaks Spanish or Mixtec, and works all day in the blast-furnace desert heat.’
    • ‘My nephew tried to organize these farmworkers, only to discover that they did not speak Spanish and he spoke no Mixtec.’
    • ‘On stage, she is like a woman possessed, speaking in many tongues - her mother's Mixtec, the florid Castillian of romantic ballads, and the oaky English of North American folksongs.’
    • ‘After dropping out of music school, she was back home in Oaxaca, Mexico, when a neighbour asked her to translate a document from English into Mixtec.’


  • Relating to the Mixtec or their language.

    ‘Terraciano has a number of distinguished predecessors, among them Ronald Spores, who threw light on many aspects of prehispanic, colonial, and modern Mixtec affairs.’
    • ‘Terraciano rightly points to the ways in which Christian formulas in Mixtec testaments can mask a most unorthodox Christianity.’
    • ‘As with the Nahua-speaking Aztecs of central Mexico during the same era, a three-stage scheme of language change seems to fit the Mixtec case.’
    • ‘She came to Oregon from her Mixtec community in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1987, following her husband, who was legalized that same year.’
    • ‘The region was dominated by confederacies of Mixtec and Zapotec royal families, who constantly expanded their control through marriage alliances.’


Spanish, from Nahuatl mixtecah ‘person from a cloudy place’.