mes·​quite | \ mə-ˈskēt How to pronounce mesquite (audio) , me- \

Definition of mesquite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of several spiny leguminous trees or shrubs (genus Prosopis and especially P. glandulosa) chiefly of the southwestern U.S. that often form extensive thickets and have sweet pods eaten by livestock also : the wood of the mesquite used especially in grilling food


geographical name
Mes·​quite | \ mə-ˈskēt How to pronounce Mesquite (audio) , me- \

Definition of Mesquite (Entry 2 of 2)

city in northeastern Texas east of Dallas population 139,824

Illustration of mesquite

Illustration of mesquite


mesquite: 1 flower and leaves, 2 pod

In the meaning defined above

Examples of mesquite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Davila said that his grandfather Raul, who started the restaurant in 1959, was around mesquite smoke so long, his hair eventually turned yellow from the constant exposure to it. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "How San Antonio pitmasters and grill cooks deal with smoke smell, because living that BBQ life means always smelling like smoke," 5 Apr. 2021 Mired in the thick clay, mesquite and cottonwood trees died. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, "Along the San Pedro River, a conservationist's dream of restoring habitat has dimmed," 3 Apr. 2021 The hike starts out with a walk among low-growing pockets of mesquite, scrub oak, cactus, yucca and thickets of cat claw shrubs that punctuate largely barren grasslands. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, "Off the beaten path: This Arizona hike unfolds with views and historical artifacts," 3 Dec. 2020 The singed ruffles on the gem lettuce are thanks to their pass over burning apple wood and mesquite in a mesh wire pan. Washington Post, "A Potomac view meets polished cooking at Ada’s on the River in Alexandria," 26 Mar. 2021 Today a half dozen structures including a large mercantile building, a schoolhouse and a few homes huddle in the mesquite groves above the river. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona ghost-town road trip: 5 former boomtowns worth the drive. Here's how to see them," 17 Mar. 2021 Maybe some of the time even to an RV surrounded by mesquite and sky, as Mr. D’Evelyn did for a spell. Michael S. Hopkins, The Christian Science Monitor, "Remote work is here to stay – and it’s changing our lives," 11 Mar. 2021 Soon, the bark on his mesquite trees was gone and whole branches were dying. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "Birth control for roof rats could slow the spread of destructive pests," 6 Mar. 2021 Texas is there in the residual aroma of the mesquite and oak smoke coming from the kitchen’s massive wood-burning grill hung with wheels and pulleys like a steampunk leviathan. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Downtown San Antonio's 2 newest restaurants, Landrace at the Thompson San Antonio hotel and Pinkerton's Barbecue, open strong," 4 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mesquite.' 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 mesquite


1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mesquite


American Spanish, from Nahuatl mizquitl

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Time Traveler for mesquite

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The first known use of mesquite was in 1759

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mesquite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mesquite



English Language Learners Definition of mesquite

: a tree or bush that grows in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico and that has a hard wood which is often used in grilling food because of the special flavor produced by its smoke also : the wood of the mesquite


mes·​quite | \ mə-ˈskēt How to pronounce mesquite (audio) \

Kids Definition of mesquite

: a spiny shrub or small tree of the southwestern United States and Mexico

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