al·​ti·​pla·​no ˌal-ti-ˈplä-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce altiplano (audio)
plural altiplanos
: a high plateau or plain : tableland

Examples of altiplano in a Sentence

a cold wind from the Andes swept across the altiplano
Recent Examples on the Web In the Chilean altiplano above 12,000 feet, Meiburg spends one of the coldest nights of his life in a sleeping bag on the edge of a salt lagoon, staking out mountain caracaras known for working in groups to flip over heavy flat stones in search of edible creatures. Paul Kvinta, Outside Online, 2 Apr. 2021 The landscape changed around me; condensing from plains, desert, and mountains into the jungles of Central America, then unfolding in reverse, into the expanse of the altiplano. J.r. Patterson, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Feb. 2022 Which is why Steve Ruff, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University and a key player in the Home Plate analysis, traveled thousands of miles to El Tatio, a series of hot springs in the rare air of Chile’s altiplano. Jeffrey Marlow, Discover Magazine, 28 Nov. 2016 The world's largest salt flat covers 4,000 square miles of Bolivian altiplano. Anne Olivia Bauso, Travel + Leisure, 8 Dec. 2021 The terminal at El Alto International Airport may not have the best design or the most punctilious construction standards, but in the freezing predawn of this high plateau—the Andean altiplano—one could weep with gratitude that it is heated. Alma Guillermoprieto, The New York Review of Books, 3 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'altiplano.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


American Spanish, from Latin altus + planum plain

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of altiplano was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near altiplano

Cite this Entry

“Altiplano.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on altiplano

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!