A Mexican liquor distilled from a fermented mash of roasted agave hearts.
[Mexican Spanish mezcal, agave, liquor made from agave hearts, from Nahuatl mexcalli, cooked agave : metl, me-, agave (akin to Eudeve (Uto-Aztecan language of Sonora) meit and Tepehu´n (Uto-Aztecan language of Chihuahua) mai) + ixcalli, baked thing (ixca, to bake + -l-, passive suffix + -tli, unpossessed absolute singular noun suffix).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.