Definition of tumbaga in English:



  • An alloy of gold and copper commonly used in pre-Columbian South and Central America.

    ‘There is evidence suggesting the transfer of tumbaga took place, and at a later date possibly brass technology.’
    • ‘Many of the coppery-colored tumbaga castings were then gilded and burnished to restore their golden appearance.’
    • ‘Many Spanish conquerors were fooled by depletion gilded tumbaga, believing it to be gold.’
    • ‘To the eye, tumbaga plates would have had the appearance of pure gold.’
    • ‘On heating tumbaga in air, a layer of copper oxide forms on the surface of the object.’
    • ‘Because it is an alloy of gold and copper, tumbaga is lighter than gold.’



/to͝omˈbäɡə/ /tʊmˈbɑɡə/


Mid 19th century from Spanish, from Malay tembaga ‘copper, brass’.