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 At a nursery in the preserve, workers water mesquite saplings and other native plants to use in environmental restoration projects. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, "Colorado River tribes seek approval from Congress to put water on the market in Arizona," 24 Dec. 2020 Among jars of mesquite honey and bags of Bandera Rosa coffee beans, roasted in San Antonio—and next to a fully functioning, and free, vintage Pac-Man arcade machine—are sacks of stone-ground flour from Barton Springs Mill, based near Austin. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Obsession-Worthy Tacos at Yellow Rose," 11 Dec. 2020 Which proteins pair best with mesquite an entire column onto itself. Chuck Blount,, "Chuck’s Food Shack: South Texas barbecue is all about the mesquite. Here’s how to use it," 1 June 2020 The latter is loaded with pineapple juice and soy sauce and typically is served with chicken grilled over mesquite. Paul Stephen,, "H-E-B’s 2 new barbecue sauces mash up the best of BBQ sauces from all styles and belong on just about everything," 1 Dec. 2020 Along the waterway margins, cottonwoods and willows that tower above mesquite forests and random saguaros display brilliant yellow leaves. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, "This sandy Hassayampa River hike is a scenic workout. Here's how to do it," 29 Nov. 2020 More flavors available include sweet, hickory, honey pepper, sweet and spicy, mesquite and an assortment of savory flavors made with dry herbs, spices and seasonings like garlic, ginger and jalapeños. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Questions To Ask When Buying Beef Jerky," 22 Nov. 2020 Yolanda Hart Stevens straddles an upright mesquite log with an indentation cut into one end. Debra Utacia Krol, USA TODAY, "Native regalia reflects tribal cultures and histories: 'You remember where you come from'," 19 Nov. 2020 From 1868 to 1890, legend says Wickenburg scofflaws were chained to a mesquite tree that served as the town hoosegow. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, "More than ever, I'm thankful to live in Arizona. Here are 10 ways the state soothes my soul," 28 Nov. 2020

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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mesquite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 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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