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

Definition of mesa

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


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

Definition of Mesa (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for mesa

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of mesa in a Sentence

Noun a mesa in the Arizona desert
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One spot is a mesa in northern New Mexico that overlooks vast expanses of rugged terrain that has seen its share of fire over the last two decades. USA TODAY, "Superstorm art, Key West Fantasy Fest, pine cone plan: News from around our 50 states," 28 Oct. 2019 Dine Nez was a shepherd on the high mesa of the reservation near Jones Ranch, where rolling hills of pinon, ponderosa, juniper and oak are divided by lush meadows and deep canyons. Betty Reid, azcentral, "To Chester Nez, last of the original Code Talkers, the words are more than a code," 29 Aug. 2019 Look carefully to the northeast and the barely visible road cut can be seen crawling up the flanks of a barren mesa. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Don't be put off by the burn scar. This Agua Fria River overlook hike is well worth it," 21 Nov. 2019 But Lukens was taken by the mesa’s soils—deep if poor—and cold mists. The Economist, "Eucalyptus Road The long and tangled history of California’s eucalyptus trees," 18 Dec. 2019 Across a mesa above Ohio Creek north of Gunnison, ranchers and federal land managers have welcomed the erosion control work over seven years — most recently at the start of this month. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Moving rocks by hand, Colorado volunteers strengthen eroding landscapes to help withstand climate change," 22 Sep. 2019 As the road makes a gradual ascent, views of the Four Peaks and Sierra Ancha Mountains begin to peek out over ridges and mesas to the east. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Get to know the rugged Goldfield Mountains on this not too tough hike with great views," 5 Dec. 2019 After a small battle with soldiers sent to negotiate, the conquistador Don Juan Oñate attacked the mesa and killed hundreds of men, women and children. Jim Robbins, New York Times, "Searching for the Ancestral Puebloans," 6 Nov. 2019 Cross the mesa on the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway, a 50-mile drive from the town of Mesa on the north to Cedaredge on the south, and you’ll see fall colors pretty much the whole way. John Meyer, The Know, "Fall color changes are about to begin. Here’s where to go leaf peeping in Colorado.," 19 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of mesa


1840, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mesa


Spanish, literally, table, from Latin mensa

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Last Updated

1 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mesa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for mesa


How to pronounce Mesa (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mesa

: a hill that has a flat top and steep sides and that is found in the southwestern U.S.


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

Kids Definition of mesa

: a hill with a flat top and steep sides

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mesa

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mesa

Spanish Central: Translation of mesa

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

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