si·​er·​ra | \ sē-ˈer-ə How to pronounce sierra (audio) \

Definition of sierra

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a range of mountains especially with a serrated or irregular outline
b : the country about a sierra
2 : any of several large scombroid fishes (genus Scomberomorus) related to the mackerel


communications code word

Definition of Sierra (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a code word for the letter s

Examples of sierra in a Sentence

Noun The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in California.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Web cams pointed at Yosemite Valley’s famous granite features, including Half Dome and El Capitan, showed the high sierra landscape completely smoked out, with terrible visibility, on Thursday afternoon. Gregory Thomas,, 17 Sep. 2020 Newell Convers Wyeth, better known as N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), was in later life a mountain of a man—over 300 pounds—and was also a sierra of talent and personal troubles. Peter Plagens, WSJ, 6 Mar. 2020 South of Lake Tahoe on the Carson Pass Trail, the month of July unfolds a colorful landscape of cheerful blue flax, Indian paintbrush, showy clusters of scarlet gilia, and the waxy, orange and spotted faces of the sierra lilies. Matt Ritter, Sunset Magazine, 6 Mar. 2020 Numb to greatness, a humdrum appreciation comes with his sierra of staggering statistics. Paul Coro,, 17 Mar. 2018 Image Before Maria, the mountainside here would have been in shade, a canopy of sierra palm fronds and leafy branches of yagrumo trees and others blocking much of the sunlight. New York Times, 7 Mar. 2018 Ingredients such as smoked sierra, cochayuyo algae and breads baked rescoldo, a Mapuche method for cooking in ash and embers, all find their way into the sandwiches at Capicúa, also in Providencia. New York Times, 30 Nov. 2017 Then a couple of years later, in 1984, two American anthropologists—including Stephen Athens, a rising star in the archaeology of Ecuador’s northern sierra—showed up. Naomi Renee Cohen, Slate Magazine, 15 May 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of sierra


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sierra


Spanish, literally, saw, from Latin serra

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Cite this Entry

“Sierra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sierra


si·​er·​ra | \ sē-ˈer-ə How to pronounce sierra (audio) \

Kids Definition of sierra

: a range of mountains especially with jagged peaks

More from Merriam-Webster on sierra

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sierra Encyclopedia article about sierra


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