qui·​pu | \ ˈkē-(ˌ)pü How to pronounce quipu (audio) \

Definition of quipu

: a device made of a main cord with smaller varicolored cords attached and knotted and used by the ancient Peruvians (as for calculating)

Examples of quipu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In January the Peruvian Ministry of Culture gave the quipu national heritage status, hailing it as an ingenious legacy of the indigenous culture. National Geographic, "Cuttlefish glasses, counting strings, and other novel tools," 19 May 2020 Here are some notable ways the population was counted before the first U.S. census in 1790: Incan Quipu: Instead of counting with tally marks, Incans lined up quipu or threads (made out of llama or alpaca, according to some sources). Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "3 Ways Societies Counted Populations Before the U.S. Census," 22 June 2017

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

First Known Use of quipu

1704, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quipu

Spanish quipo, from Quechua khipu

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Time Traveler for quipu

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The first known use of quipu was in 1704

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Statistics for quipu

Last Updated

6 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quipu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quipu. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on quipu

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quipu

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