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 In grasslands and chaparral (and given good winter rainfall), the ensuing superbloom can be a breathtaking way to see plants after a fire. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "The West Had a Fiery Summer and Fall. How Will Plants Rebound This Spring?," 31 Jan. 2020 The fire is burning through dense, heavy chaparral and came within yards of some homes in the foothills. Fox News, "More evacuations called as Southern California fire surges," 9 Aug. 2018 Compounding the problem is that invasive European grasses first brought in on the hooves of Spanish cattle have replaced many of the tough native bunch grasses, wildflowers, and original chaparral that are adapted not to burn as easily. David Helvarg, National Geographic, "How will California prevent more mega-wildfire disasters?," 20 Dec. 2019 Tackling fire from the grass up California has two very different fire threats: forest fires that tend to be fuel-driven and brush fires (actually grassland and chaparral), that tend to be wind-driven. David Helvarg, National Geographic, "How will California prevent more mega-wildfire disasters?," 20 Dec. 2019 Chamise, buckwheat and sage are referred to as chaparral. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Experts share tips for surviving a fire," 17 Sep. 2019 The ceremony was held at the first tee of the course, tucked among the red rock and chaparral in the hills overlooking the Coachella Valley. Ethan Varian, New York Times, "It Was Obvious from Day 1," 26 Oct. 2019 In this potential future, envisioned by climate scientists and policy experts, utilities would still need to cut power when high winds race across tinder in northern forests and southern chaparral. Anne C. Mulkern, Scientific American, "Are Blackouts Here to Stay? A Look into the Future," 15 Nov. 2019 America craves inexpensive electricity, too, which means that overhead power lines run through forests and chaparral. The Conversation, oregonlive, "Ursula LeGuin foresaw dystopia that is California on fire: The Conversation," 5 Nov. 2019

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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Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chaparral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce chaparral (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chaparral Encyclopedia article about chaparral

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