Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (ŏl′mĕk, ōl′-)
n. pl. Olmec or Ol·mecs
1. An early Mesoamerican Indian civilization centered in the Veracruz region of southeast Mexico that flourished between 1300 and 400 bc, whose cultural influence was widespread throughout southern Mexico and Central America.
2. A member of any of various peoples sharing the Olmec culture.

[Nahuatl Ōlmēcah, plural of Ōlmēcatl, an Olmec, from Ōlmān, Olmec homeland (literally, "land of rubber"), from ōlli, rubber from the tree Castilla elastica.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -mecs or -mec
(Peoples) a member of an ancient Central American Indian people who inhabited the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico and flourished between about 1200 and 400 bc
(Peoples) of or relating to these people or their civilization or culture
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɒl mɛk, ˈoʊl-)

adj., n., pl. -mecs, (esp. collectively) -mec. adj.
1. of or designating a Mesoamerican civilization, c1000–400 b.c., along the S Gulf coast of Mexico.
2. a member of the people who belonged to this ancient civilization.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A member of a people of southern Mexico and the surrounding regions whose civilization predates the Maya.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Olmec - a member of an early Mesoamerican civilization centered around Veracruz that flourished between 1300 and 400 BCOlmec - a member of an early Mesoamerican civilization centered around Veracruz that flourished between 1300 and 400 BC
federation of tribes, tribe - a federation (as of American Indians)
American Indian, Indian, Red Indian - a member of the race of people living in America when Europeans arrived
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Concepts of death and afterlife existed in the Olmec, Toltec, Maya, and Aztec cultures.
But along the Gulf Coast of southern Mexico, the Olmec people were probably cultivating the tree--and maybe even producing chocolate--as early as 1000 B.C.
with a population influenced by Olmec culture--the accounts of that loss
Highlights of the exhibit include tiny jade carvings depicting Olmec ballplayer kings, stone monuments depicting ballgame sacrifice and ring-shaped stone goals that once stood in Aztec courts.
Developed jointly by Van Son and ICI Imagedata for use with Epson ink jet printers, the photo kit is equipped with one EasyPrint color fade resistant ink jet cartridge, one EasyPrint black fade resistant ink jet cartridge and 20 sheets of Olmec high gloss ink jet photo paper from ICI Imagedata.
For example, the distinctions, similarities, and overlaps among areas of Mesopotamia, the Levant, Hatti, and the Susiana in West Asia are no clearer than those among the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, or Aztec areas in Mesoamerica.
Not that long ago, such a book would have been unthinkable, for so little was known about the rise and demise of Olmec, Toltec, Mayan, Aztec, and Incan societies.
La Venta was originally the most important city of the Olmec civilisation and was discovered during exploration for oil.
Olmec Toys, the largest minority-owned toy company in America, is headquartered in Richmond, Va.
Other gift ideas include portable electronic devices, such as the Franklin FUN-damental Dictionary or the World Book Learning Center, as well as more traditional board or card games like Olmec Toys' Black by Design.
Finally, it is LaBas, with his "million-year-old Olmec negro face" (34-35), who presents the most trenchant satirical comment on the image of Andy Brown, a stereotype, Reed scornfully suggests, deriving from the "consummate Brother Bear of Disney's film version of Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories" (45).