noun \ˌsha-pə-ˈral, -ˈrel\

: an area of dry land especially in southern California that is covered with bushes and short trees

Full Definition of CHAPARRAL

:  a thicket of dwarf evergreen oaks; broadly :  a dense impenetrable thicket of shrubs or dwarf trees
:  an ecological community composed of shrubby plants adapted to dry summers and moist winters that occurs especially in southern California

Examples of CHAPARRAL

  1. <the rabbit darted into the chaparral>


Spanish, from chaparro dwarf evergreen oak, from Basque txapar
First Known Use: 1845


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Vegetation composed of broad-leaved evergreen shrubs, bushes, and small trees, often forming dense thickets. Chaparral is found in regions with a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The name is applied mainly to the coastal and inland mountain vegetation of southwestern North America. Chaparral vegetation becomes extremely dry by late summer. The fires that commonly occur during this period are necessary for the germination of many shrub seeds, and they clear away dense ground cover, thus maintaining the shrubby growth form of the vegetation by preventing the spread of trees. New chaparral growth provides good grazing for domestic livestock, and chaparral vegetation also is valuable for watershed protection in areas with steep, easily eroded slopes.


Next Word in the Dictionary: chaparral broom
Previous Word in the Dictionary: chaparajos
All Words Near: chaparral

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up chaparral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).