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Borrowed from Classical Nahuatl patōlli.


patolli (uncountable)

  1. A board game, similar to pachisi, played by the Aztecs.
    • 1992, Olive Patricia Dickason, Canada′s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from Earliest Times, page 61,
      There is also the resemblance between the Hindu game of pachesi and the Mexica patolli, so close as to be virtually identical.
    • 1994, Edwin C. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations, 2003, page 294,
      Mesoamericans played a game called patolli, which has been likened to parcheesi. [] Post-Conquest accounts also indicate patolli had religious meaning, and calendrical, numerological, cosmological, and astronomical symbolism determined the rules of play.
    • 2002, Sally E. D. Wilkins, Sports and Games of Medieval Cultures, page 156,
      Patolli is a Mesoamerican game so similar to South Asian pachisi that many anthropologists considered it evidence of a precolonial contact between the peoples of the Old and New Worlds (Figure 5.2).



Classical Nahuatl[edit]


From patoa (to play a game of chance).



patōlli (inanimate, plural patōlli)

  1. (it is) patolli; a board game similar to pachisi involving chance through the throwing of dice.
  2. (it is) a large bean, usually indented on one side, used as a die in this game.
  3. (it is) a die; dice.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Alonso de Molina (1571) Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana y mexicana y castellana, Editorial Porrúa, pages 66r, 89r
  • Rémi Siméon (1885) Diccionario de la lengua náhuatl o mexicana, Siglo Veintiuno Editores, page 377