n. pl. quet·zalsor quet·za·les (-sälās)
1. Any of several tropical American birds of the genera Pharomachrus and Euptilotis having brilliant bronze-green and red plumage and, in the male, long flowing tail feathers, especially P. mocinno of Central America.
2. See Table at currency.
[Latin American Spanish, from Nahuatl quetzalli, long green quetzal tail feather, from quetza, to stand up, raise up, from Proto-Uto-Aztecan *kwïtï-, to get up; compare Serrano kwïçk and Southern Paiute kwïrï.]
(click for a larger image)quetzal
male resplendent quetzal
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.