Definition of Tzeltal in English:

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Pronunciation: /tsɛlˈtɑːl/
Pronunciation: /ˈtsɛltɑːl/ Pronunciation: /ˈsɛltɑːl/

noun (plural same or Tzeltals)

1A member of an American Indian people inhabiting parts of southern Mexico.
Example sentences
  • Turner in his study among the Tzeltals of Oxchuc, in turn argues that mass conversion in that municipality led to its transformation from the most backward to the most progressive municipality in Highland Chiapas.
  • But in a follow-up to my musings on how many interpret such findings, I can't help imagining someone assuming that this meant that Tzeltals value eating more than other people.
  • In many societies, from the Tamil of southern India to the Tzeltal of southeastern Mexico, laughter is a self-effacing behavior of both males and females who occupy subordinate positions.
2 [mass noun] The Mayan language of the Tzeltal.
Example sentences
  • Our teatro included a narrator who described, in Tzeltal, Tzotzil, or Tojolabal, a series of mimed skits performed by project members.
  • All interview data were transcribed and analyzed in Tzeltal with the help of two native Tzeltal speakers who also spoke Spanish.
  • A favorite example of mine here is Tzeltal, which though having only about 3000 roots in its vocabulary (with morphology recruiting them as various constituents, of course), has a neat array of words for EAT.


Relating to the Tzeltal or their language.
Example sentences
  • Sanchez claims the same about the Tzeltal Protestants of Yajalon in Chiapas.
  • But the forest may have lost its most distinguishing features as understood by the Tzeltal community.
  • In Chiapas, Maya of the Tzeltal and Tzotzil tribes took part in the Zapatista uprising of January 1994.


Spanish name of one of the three regions of the Mexican state of Chiapas, of uncertain origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Tzel|tal

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