me·​sa | \ ˈmā-sə How to pronounce mesa (audio) \

Definition of mesa

: an isolated relatively flat-topped natural elevation usually more extensive than a butte and less extensive than a plateau also : a broad terrace with an abrupt slope on one side : bench

Examples of mesa in a Sentence

a mesa in the Arizona desert
Recent Examples on the Web Azura Cellars & Gallery has a prime spot on a mesa above the North Fork Valley; browse the art collection, then with a glass of wine in hand head out to the patio that overlooks the valley floor ( Ryan Haase, WSJ, 13 May 2021 The Kearny mesa project spreads over about 1000 acres. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Mar. 2021 The mesa is home to dozens of species of plants and animals despite scant rainfall, a dearth of natural springs and elevations ranging from 3,800 to 7,100 feet. Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2021 On a windswept hill atop a nondescript mesa in San Juan County, Aaron Brewer, education technology director for the San Juan School District, looked out over half of southern Utah. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Dec. 2020 Reaching the community of Oljato, for example, required a dozen towers be placed in a giant 180-degree bend to bring the signal around a tall mesa. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Dec. 2020 Her family has been waiting many years for a water system to be built in their community atop a mesa on the Hopi Reservation. Ian James,, 14 Dec. 2020 This vast two-part trench, long enough and deep enough to be visible from space, was cut into a mesa in Nevada. The Economist, 8 Dec. 2020 Joseph Aguilar, an archaeologist from San Ildefonso Pueblo, recently used drones to examine the topography of Tunyo, a mesa where as many as 2,000 Pueblo people took refuge in the 1690s to face off against the Spanish during a monthslong siege. Simon Romero, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of mesa

1840, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mesa

Spanish, literally, table, from Latin mensa

Learn More About mesa

Dictionary Entries Near mesa




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for mesa

Cite this Entry

“Mesa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for mesa


me·​sa | \ ˈmā-sə How to pronounce mesa (audio) \

Kids Definition of mesa

: a hill with a flat top and steep sides

Mesa geographical name

Me·​sa | \ ˈmā-sə How to pronounce Mesa (audio) \

Definition of Mesa

city east of Phoenix in southwest central Arizona population 439,041

More from Merriam-Webster on mesa

Nglish: Translation of mesa for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mesa


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
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!