"one of the native people who dominated the central highlands of Mexico in 1519 at the time of the Spanish invasion, 1787, from Spanish Azteca, from Nahuatl aztecatl (plural aztecah), meaning "coming from Aztlan," name of their legendary place of origin, usually said to lie somewhere in what is now southwestern U.S. Related: Aztecan.

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Definitions of Aztec from WordNet

Aztec (n.)
a member of the Nahuatl people who established an empire in Mexico that was overthrown by Cortes in 1519;