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 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, "A push to bring Wi-Fi to students on the Navajo Nation is made urgent by the pandemic," 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,, "'We need water to survive': Hopi Tribe pushes for solutions in long struggle for water," 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, "Land art’s monumental interventions in nature," 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, "Why New Mexico’s 1680 Pueblo Revolt Is Echoing in 2020 Protests," 27 Sep. 2020 Chilchinbeto’s chapter house, church, school, and its over 400 housing units are nestled beside a modest mesa. Kalen Goodluck, Wired, "Covid-19 Is Sweeping Through the Navajo Nation," 23 May 2020 South of Gallup at Zuni Pueblo, a tribal community of 800 residents set amid red rock mesas, Lt. Morgan Lee, Anchorage Daily News, "New Mexico town near vast Navajo reservation shuts everyone out during pandemic," 8 May 2020 Going down a dirt road that clung to a mesa, the hood and front fenders set up a St. Vitus dance. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Comparison Test: 1993 Toyota Supra Turbo Takes On the Best Sports Cars of the Early 1990s," 12 May 2020 On a recent afternoon at the Sedona Airport, a strip of asphalt atop a mesa overlooking the city, three private jets sat parked. Los Angeles Times, oregonlive, "Wealthy enclaves balance coronavirus risk with money from well-to-do who want to escape there," 28 Apr. 2020

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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mesa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for mesa



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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More from Merriam-Webster on mesa

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mesa

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

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