pre-His·​pan·​ic ˌprē-(h)i-ˈspa-nik How to pronounce pre-Hispanic (audio)
: of, relating to, or being the time prior to Spanish conquests in the western hemisphere

Examples of pre-Hispanic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Interestingly, the woman’s skull exhibited signs of modification, a common practice throughout pre-Hispanic Latin America. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 26 Jan. 2024 The codex consists of 12 books that detail religion, cultural practices, and the first few decades detailing the fall of pre-Hispanic Mexico. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 4 Jan. 2024 The pre-Hispanic rite involved filling clay jars with precious cocoa seeds – the stuff from which chocolate is made – and then ceremonially breaking the jars. Fabiola Sánchez, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Dec. 2023 Tamayo and his wife, Olga, amassed around 1,000 pre-Hispanic artifacts from across Mexico, choosing them for their beauty rather than their archeological significance, and donated them to the state in 1974. Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times, 23 Nov. 2023 And for these locals, at least, the city owes much of its culinary greatness to the people safeguarding the dishes that have been passed down for generations, whether those rooted in pre-Hispanic traditions or those inherited from the immigrants who arrived in Mexico decades ago. Jorge Valencia Mariano Fernandez, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2023 Celebrations often incorporate indigenous pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican spirituality, European Catholicism and African ceremonial traditions, said Sandoval. Sarah Pineda, Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2023 The celebration has its origins in Indigenous cultures dating back thousands of years and is derived from the rituals of pre-Hispanic people in Mexico. Paola Briseño-Gonzalez, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 In September, the San Bernardino County Museum in California announced the return of nearly 1,300 small objects, including pre-Hispanic jewelry and wind instruments. David Shortell Marian Carrasquero, New York Times, 23 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pre-Hispanic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pre-Hispanic was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near pre-Hispanic

Cite this Entry

“Pre-Hispanic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: of, relating to, or being the time prior to Spanish conquests in the western hemisphere
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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