Definition of quetzal in English:


Syllabification: quet·zal
Pronunciation: /ketˈsäl


  • 1A bird of the trogon family, with iridescent green plumage and typically red underparts, found in the forests of tropical America.
    • Genus Pharomachrus, family Trogonidae: five species, especially the resplendent quetzal (P. mocinno), the male of which has very long tail coverts and was venerated by the Aztecs
    More example sentences
    • Mexico is home to toucans, vultures, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, parrots, macaws, and quetzals.
    • At Volcan Baru, the country's most visited national park and its highest elevation, catch a glimpse of the quetzal or toucan.
    • Or I can try something cooler by immersing myself in the cloud-enshrouded virgin forest of Braulio Carillo National Park - a great place to observe bird-watchers delighting in the trogons and quetzals.
  • 2The basic monetary unit of Guatemala, equal to 100 centavos.
    More example sentences
    • I am standing in line to exchange my dollars for quetzals; so is Angela.
    • The Guatemalan unit of currency, the quetzal, is named for the Guatemalan national bird.
    • He offered the teachers a 100 quetzal monthly bonus - a fraction of the teachers' demand for a doubling of their current wages.


early 19th century (sense 1): from Spanish, from Aztec quetzalli 'brightly colored tail feather'.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody