AskDefine | Define quetzal

Dictionary Definition



1 the basic unit of money in Guatemala; equal to 100 centavos
2 large trogon of Central America and South America having golden-green and scarlet plumage [syn: quetzal bird]

User Contributed Dictionary



From quetzalli/quetzaltototl.


quetzal (quetzals)
  1. A trogon of the genus Pharomacrus, especially the resplendent quetzal P. mocinno, with very long tail feathers, found in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
  2. A monetary unit used in Guatemala, equal to 100 centavos.

Scientific names


quetzal bird
monetary unit
  • Finnish: quetzal
  • French: quetzal
  • German: Quetzal
  • Spanish: quetzal

See also





  1. A bird found in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
  2. A monetary unit used in Guatemala, equal to 100 centavos.

See also

Extensive Definition

Quetzals are strikingly colored birds of the trogon family (Trogonidae) found in tropical regions of the Americas.
The word "quetzal" was originally used for just the Resplendent Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno, the famous long-tailed quetzal of Central America, which is the national bird of Guatemala. It still often refers to that bird specifically but now also names all the species of the genera Pharomachrus and Euptilotis. The six quetzal species and their English common names are:
Euptilotis neoxenus is related to Pharomachrus and is called the Eared Quetzal by some authorities, such as the American Ornithologists' Union, but the Eared Trogon by others.

Etymology or word origin

The name "quetzal" is from Nahuatl quetzalli, "large brilliant tail feather" (American Heritage Dictionary) or "tail coverts of the quetzal" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary), from the Nahuatl root quetz = "stand up" used to refer to an upstanding plume of feathers.
Pharomachrus is from ancient Greek pharos, "mantle", and makros, "long", referring to the wing and tail coverts of the Resplendent Quetzal. (The second h is unexplained.)

External links

  • For images of four quetzal species, select "Trogons".
  • Trogon videos, including quetzals, on the Internet Bird Collection
quetzal in German: Quetzal (Vogel)
quetzal in Esperanto: Kecaloj
quetzal in Spanish: Quetzal
quetzal in French: Quetzal
quetzal in Croatian: Kvecali
quetzal in Hungarian: Kvézál
quetzal in Portuguese: Quetzal
quetzal in Simple English: Quetzal
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