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

Example Sentences

the rabbit darted into the chaparral
Recent Examples on the Web The weather service doesn’t expect to issue a wildfire advisory because inland chaparral is still fairly moist due to recent storms. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Nov. 2022 Parks, campgrounds and hiking trails veer off into the chaparral, framed by rolling green hills in the background. Matt Pawlik, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Follow signs and head north on a sandy wash, where the red stone pinnacles come into view, looming above the chaparral-dotted canyon. Matt Pawlik, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2022 The ridge slopes off steeply on both sides into native chaparral, which is home to many resident critters such as raccoons, bobcats, opossums, coyotes, woodrats and even the occasional deer. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 July 2022 The fire, which authorities estimate has the potential to grow to 500 to 1,000 acres, was burning through dense front-country chaparral, driven by erratic winds, Ferguson said. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2022 Waist-high chamise chaparral closed in on my legs and backpack, but never blocked the striking vistas to the south. Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2022 And much of the region is covered in chaparral, the most flammable mix of brush land vegetation in the country. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Dec. 2021 Forests may produce a different fragrance than grasslands, chaparral or deserts, for example. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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 9 Dec. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on chaparral

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