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

altiplano, plateau, table, tableland

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Examples of mesa in a Sentence


a mesa in the Arizona desert

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jeffrey Epstein's massive 21,000-square-foot New Mexico mansion sits high on a mesa overlooking nearly 10,000 acres of desert land halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Mola Lenghi, CBS News, "What's next for Epstein's Zorro Ranch, where accusers say they were raped and trafficked," 31 Aug. 2019 Having more than exceeded its footprint on the mesa, the school needs more students, land and grant money., "Trevor Hoffman's Mark On San Diego," 5 Mar. 2018 The 500-foot climbs to get up the mesa are steep but worth it. John Meyer, The Know, "The best trail running routes along the Front Range," 22 July 2019 North Table Mountain: Situated at the northern edge of Golden, this gem has 15 miles of trails around and on top of the mesa. John Meyer, The Know, "The best trail running routes along the Front Range," 22 July 2019 Twelve miles or so of hiking across the mesa made for great sleeping that night. James Murren,, "At Utah's Gooseberry Mesa, the joy and power of wilderness prevail," 13 July 2019 History: This scrubby mesa was mainly used for grazing cattle until World War I, when the Army founded Camp Kearny. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kearny Mesa & Serra Mesa: Rich military history, and I’ll have a boba with that," 30 June 2019 Here, the Colorado River makes a hairpin turn around a mesa in Marble Canyon (considered the beginning of the Grand Canyon) for a dramatic scene viewed from the opposite cliff ledge. Steve Larese, National Geographic, "Eight epic stops in the Four Corners region," 27 June 2019 There is no lodging on the mesa other than the three yurts. James Murren,, "At Utah's Gooseberry Mesa, the joy and power of wilderness prevail," 13 July 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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Dictionary Entries near mesa






Mesabi Range


Statistics for mesa

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for mesa

The first known use of mesa was in 1840

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mesa

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mesa

Spanish Central: Translation of mesa

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

Comments on mesa

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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