1. a member of any of the dominant groups of South American Indian peoples who established an empire in Peru prior to the Spanish conquest.
  2. a ruler or member of the royal family in the Incan empire.

noun plural -ca or -cas

  1. a member of a South American Indian people whose great empire centred on Peru lasted from about 1100 ad to the Spanish conquest in the early 1530s and is famed for its complex culture
  2. the ruler or king of this empire or any member of his family
  3. the language of the IncasSee also Quechua

1590s, from Spanish Inga (1520s), from Quechea Inca, literally “lord, king.” Technically, only of the high Inca, but it was used widely for “man of royal blood.”

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