noun \ˈke-chə-wə, ˈkech-wə\
plural Quechua or Quechuas

Definition of QUECHUA

:  a family of languages spoken by Indian peoples of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina
a :  a member of an Indian people of central Peru
b :  a group of peoples forming the dominant element of the Inca Empire
Que·chu·an \-wən\ adjective or noun

Origin of QUECHUA

Spanish, probably from Southern Peruvian Quechua qheswa (simi), literally, valley speech
First Known Use: 1840

Rhymes with QUECHUA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

South American Indian population of the Andes Mountains from Ecuador to Bolivia. In the early 15th century the Quechua were conquered by the Chanca, who in turn were subdued by the Inca. Much of the traditional Quechua way of life endured under the Inca, but it was drastically altered by the 16th-century Spanish conquest. Traditional Quechua now lead isolated lives as marginal farmers in the high Andes. Their religion combines Roman Catholicism with folk beliefs. See also Quechuan languages.


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