mil·​pa | \ ˈmil-pə How to pronounce milpa (audio) \

Definition of milpa

1a : a small field in Mexico or Central America that is cleared from the forest, cropped for a few seasons, and abandoned for a fresh clearing
b : a corn field in Mexico or Central America
2 : the corn plant

Examples of milpa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Maya call this agricultural system milpa, and many other indigenous communities across Latin America have used it under different names. Agostino Petroni, Environment, 25 Nov. 2020 But in recent years that traditional knowledge has proved useless: The climate is dramatically changing, and for mothers like Díaz, her milpa had become an unproductive, festering sore. Deepa Fernandes, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2018 In years past, Díaz has grown enough fresh produce in the small family farm — called a milpa — to feed her children. Deepa Fernandes, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2018 The family’s daily meals come straight from the milpa. Deepa Fernandes, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2018 The farmers producing the heirloom beans and corn for Masienda practice the traditional MesoAmerican way of farming, milpa, which rotates corn, beans, and squash on the same land. Mari Uyehara, Bon Appetit, 19 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'milpa.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of milpa

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for milpa

Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl mīlpan

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Cite this Entry

“Milpa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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