noun \ˈmā-sə\

: a hill that has a flat top and steep sides and that is found in the southwestern U.S.

Full Definition of MESA

:  an isolated relatively flat-topped natural elevation usually more extensive than a butte and less extensive than a plateau; also :  a broad terrace with an abrupt slope on one side :  bench

Examples of MESA

  1. <a mesa in the Arizona desert>

Origin of MESA

Spanish, literally, table, from Latin mensa
First Known Use: 1840

Related to MESA

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, sedimentary, silt, swale

Rhymes with MESA


geographical name \ˈmā-sə\

Definition of MESA

city SW cen Arizona E of Phoenix pop 439,041

Rhymes with MESA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

(Spanish: “table”) Flat-topped tableland with one or more steep sides, common in the Colorado Plateau regions of the U.S.; a butte is similar but smaller. Both are formed by erosion; during denudation, or downcutting and stripping, areas of harder rock in a plateau act as flat protective caps for portions of underlying land situated between such places as stream valleys, where erosion is especially active. This results in a table mountain (mesa) or fortress hill.


Next Word in the Dictionary: mésalliance
Previous Word in the Dictionary: mes-
All Words Near: mesa

Seen & Heard

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

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More