chap·​ar·​ral | \ ˌsha-pə-ˈral How to pronounce chaparral (audio) , -ˈrel \

Definition of chaparral

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

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Examples of chaparral in a Sentence

the rabbit darted into the chaparral
Recent Examples on the Web Arguelles named Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park as one of his favorite spots on the Rim, describing chaparral-covered hillsides and stunning views of the valley. Sammy Roth Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Boiling Point: These wild lands in California and the West may soon get federal protection," 10 Dec. 2020 Hankins points out that fire in California chaparral and oak woodlands can give invasive annual grasses a chance to move in. Ula Chrobak, Scientific American, "Severe Wildfires Raise the Chance for Future Monstrous Blazes," 24 Nov. 2020 The duo climbed a chain link fence and squeezed into the thorny chaparral that Wright and his oldest son, Daniel, once had hacked at with a machete to no avail. Vincent T. Davis,, "Retired major helps uncover long-lost African American cemetery in San Antonio neighborhood," 19 Oct. 2020 Studies by archeologists and historians support a theory that Cabrillo might have been witnessing an early form of land management, including the burning of shrubs and chaparral to clear dry brush and promote better conditions for hunting big game. NBC News, "Decades of mismanagement led to choked forests — now it's time to clear them out, fire experts say," 18 Oct. 2020 On Thursday around noon, authorities responded to a fire on Horse Mountain in the Prescott National Forest blazing through chaparral and juniper, according to a statement by the Prescott National Forest. Madeline Ackley, The Arizona Republic, "Crown King residents ordered to prepare for evacuations due to 300-acre Horse Fire," 16 Oct. 2020 However, many of the California blazes have roared through coastal chaparral and grasslands, not forest, and some of the largest are burning on federal land. Andrew Selsky, Anchorage Daily News, "Easing fires not as simple as climate change vs. forest work," 16 Sep. 2020 However, many of the blazes have roared through coastal chaparral and grasslands, not forest. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, "Trump spurns science on climate: 'Don't think science knows'," 14 Sep. 2020 And many of the blazes have roared through coastal chaparral and grasslands, not forest. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Trump spurns science on climate change: ‘I don’t think science knows’," 14 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chaparral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chaparral

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chaparral

Spanish, from chaparro dwarf evergreen oak, from Basque txapar

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Time Traveler for chaparral

Time Traveler

The first known use of chaparral was in 1845

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Cite this Entry

“Chaparral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of chaparral

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

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