me·​ta·​te | \ mə-ˈtä-tē How to pronounce metate (audio) \

Definition of metate

: a stone with a concave upper surface used as the lower millstone for grinding grains and especially corn

Examples of metate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Back to the grind: Following ancient Maya traditions, chocolate makers in Belize still grind cacao beans with a tool called a metate, made of volcanic stone. National Geographic, "Go Loco for Belize Cocoa," 8 Apr. 2019 At the site, four other pieces of pottery were found with a metate, a type of mortar used to ground grain or corn. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Ancient Remains Offer Clues About Early Americans," 1 Sep. 2017 In other parts of Central America, burials of high-status individuals, often with beautiful grave goods, have been found beneath metates. National Geographic, "Excavation of Ancient Lost City Yields New Finds," 13 Jan. 2016 The metates also display many puzzling pseudo-glyphs on them that have yet to be studied and deciphered. National Geographic, "See New Discoveries at the Mysterious City of the Jaguar," 9 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of metate

1625, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for metate

Spanish, from Nahuatl metatl

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Cite this Entry

“Metate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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