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 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 Yellow Jacket Trail and Cottonwood Trail to the top of the mesa: 9 miles round trip. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "A short distance off the highway, this Prescott-area hike feels remote. Here's how to do it," 12 Mar. 2020 The mesa is an old lava flow that collects water, creating streams and pools crowded with flowers. Matt Ritter, Sunset Magazine, "Find the Real Super Blooms This Summer with the Ultimate Floral Road Trip," 6 Mar. 2020 There are the handsome mosaics in the lobby, solemn paeans to communications technology, and the building catches light throughout the day, like some kind of sacred mesa. Will Heinrich, New York Times, "Take a (Solo) Stroll. Your Next Art Fix May Be Around the Block.," 19 Mar. 2020 Long since eroded into a maze of crumbling embankments and chiseled mesas, the mineral-rich lake sediments have been mined for centuries. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "If you like steep, edgy hikes, this Camp Verde trail is for you. Here's how to tackle it," 13 Feb. 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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Cite this Entry

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

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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

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

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