cor·​dil·​le·​ra | \ ˌkȯr-dᵊl-ˈyer-ə How to pronounce cordillera (audio) , -də-ˈler- also kȯr-ˈdi-lə-rə \

Definition of cordillera

: a system of mountain ranges often consisting of a number of more or less parallel chains

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cordillera

cordilleran \ ˌkȯr-​dᵊl-​ˈyer-​ən How to pronounce cordillera (audio) , -​də-​ˈler-​ also  kȯr-​ˈdi-​lə-​rən \ adjective

Examples of cordillera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Among the displays are ceramic figures, scale models and paintings that narrate indigenous traditions in the Andes cordillera, from the first settlements dating back 15,000 years to the birth of the Tiwanaku state and the rise of the Incan empire. Washington Post, "A museum in Bolivia pays homage to President Evo Morales," 20 Sep. 2019 Away to the west, mountains rode the horizons, granite faced, severe, not the Andes yet, but the cordillera of the pre-Andes. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 The plane carrying the coffin with Paloma’s mother is rerouted to Argentina, and the three rent a hearse and cross the cordillera to find her. Sean Mccoy, Los Angeles Times, "Review: An authoritarian leader’s shadow looms over a weary country in ‘The Remainder’," 18 July 2019 Since the resort has an idyllic vantage point at the foothills of the Truong Son mountains (part of the dense Annamese cordillera), the setting makes for noteworthy Instagram shots. Condé Nast Traveler, "Angsana Lang Co," 20 Oct. 2017 Local media published photos of teenagers and children among the group playing in the snow in the Andes mountains cordilleras on their way home. Washington Post, "Argentine officials: at least 15 die when bus flips, 21 hurt," 26 June 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of cordillera

1704, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cordillera

borrowed from Spanish, from cuerda "string, rope, line of mountain peaks" (going back to Latin chorda, corda "tripe, string of a musical instrument") + -ill-, diminutive suffix (going back to Latin -illus) + -era, suffix of place (going back to Latin -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary entry 1) — more at cord entry 1

Note: Spanish cordillera is apparently not formed directly from cordilla "tripe used as animal food," or from dialectal cordal "mountain chain."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cordillera

Time Traveler for cordillera

Time Traveler

The first known use of cordillera was in 1704

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cordillera

Cite this Entry

“Cordillera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on cordillera

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cordillera Encyclopedia article about cordillera

Comments on cordillera

What made you want to look up cordillera? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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