Aztecs, an Indian people who dominated Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest in 1521. Their capital city was Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City). They called themselves Tenochcas or Mexica. The term "Aztec" comes from the name of their legendary home. In a broader sense, "Aztec" is applied to their civilization, which flourished in Mexico during the 14th, 15th, and early 16th centuries.
The Aztecs were short, sturdy people with almond-shaped eyes, dark, coarse hair, and brown skin. They spoke Nahuatl, a language of the Uto-Aztecan family. Descendants of the Aztecs form a large part of the Indian population in and around Mexico City, and the Nahuatl language is still spoken.