chaparral

noun

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

Examples of chaparral in a Sentence

the rabbit darted into the chaparral
Recent Examples on the Web The Santa Ana winds, a Didion favorite, were more regular; their 100-miles-per-hour gusts whipsawed through the landscape, facing few obstacles in the largely treeless chaparral. Ross Andersen, The Atlantic, 7 Feb. 2024 In the open space between the living areas and animal pastures, there is a meadow planted solely in a mixture of native grasses and chaparral shrubs. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 28 Dec. 2023 Maneuvering his green pickup truck atop a ridgeline on a recent morning, Pastor Lopez, 74, stepped on the brakes as a deer sprinted across the road before disappearing into a canyon covered in dry chaparral. Soumya Karlamangla Sinna Nasseri, New York Times, 2 Dec. 2023 But as in much of the county, the same chaparral and grassland that makes for picturesque panoramas is extremely flammable during fire season, which, due to climate change, is becoming longer and more explosive. Gabriel San Román, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2023 The land includes mountainous terrain and rolling hills, grasslands, chaparral, oak and conifer forests along with creeks, springs and ponds. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Dec. 2023 Renderings of a hypothetical city posted in October to the Praxis Instagram account depict low-slung, curvilinear glass structures nestled into coastal chaparral. Joseph Bernstein, New York Times, 12 Dec. 2023 California natives like lavender blooming chaparral mallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus), yellow flowered bladder pod (Peritoma arborea), garden-sized scrub oak (Quercus berberidifolia), jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) and many more. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Nov. 2023 Unlike species such as giant sequoias and lodgepole pine that drop their seeds in fire, the dominant pines of the Sierra can’t reproduce if their seeds burn. Manzanita and mountain whitethorn — chaparral typical at lower elevations in California — take root in ashes and can dominate the forest. Brian Melley, Fortune, 26 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Spanish, from chaparro dwarf evergreen oak, from Basque txapar

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chaparral was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near chaparral

Cite this Entry

“Chaparral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chaparral. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

chaparral

noun
chap·​ar·​ral ˌshap-ə-ˈral How to pronounce chaparral (audio)
-ˈrel
1
: a thicket of dwarf evergreen oaks
also : a dense thicket
2
: an ecological community that is found especially in parts of southern California and is composed of shrubby plants that grow well in dry sunny summers and moist winters

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