Main definitions of mesa in English

: mesa1Mesa2


Pronunciation /ˈmāsə/ /ˈmeɪsə/


  • An isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides, as found in arid and semi-arid areas of the US.

    ‘At its southern end, the terrain drops down to the Santa Rosa Plateau, a 2,000-foot-high tableland with canyons, mesas, and low hills.’
    • ‘After a mile's drive north of the petroglyphs, a short hike pays off - with a vast, spectacular view into the heart of the Swell: Buttes, mesas, and canyons fill the landscape far below me.’
    • ‘Broad mesas and steep canyons stand out clearly.’
    • ‘The park shows off some of the most striking landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas, and spires in the entire Southwest.’
    • ‘It is characterized by large sand seas, eroded mountain ranges, and upland mesas.’
    • ‘We had an exciting drive down to the Rio Grande, then a steep climb up to the mesa on the west side of Taos.’
    • ‘The sagebrush and imposing mesas and buttes of the Great Basin and the giant saguaro cacti of the Sonoran Desert define the West of countless Hollywood films and the novels of Zane Grey, Louis L' Amour, and others.’
    • ‘Straddled between Utah and Arizona in the Navaho Indian Reservation are the sandstone buttes, mesas and cliffs of Monument Valley, the setting for countless westerns.’
    • ‘From Moab, they will drive to Monument Valley, famous for the towering red buttes and mesas, which have formed the background for countless westerns.’
    • ‘He explained the difference between the mesas and buttes in the distance and challenged us to find images of birds, couples dancing joyfully, and snakes in the sticklike forms of petroglyphs.’
    • ‘In kanyu, these energy outbursts are called regulators, and the most powerful of them take the form of mesas, buttes, and large rock pillars.’
    • ‘The trail sliced up through an erosional landscape of mesas and deep gorges where the bird life was stunning.’
    • ‘Climbing Mount Dundas, a flat-topped mesa that juts out into the bay, is a frequent summer ritual.’
    • ‘Today the local economy depends mostly on tourists who come to admire and frolic in the park's mesas, canyons, rivers, and waterfalls.’
    • ‘Our Southwest Grand Tour leads from Las Vegas into the canyons and mesas that form the heart of the Colorado Plateau.’
    • ‘Huge red mesas towered on the horizon and a flat unforgiving landscape rolled out before them.’
    • ‘Just 2 1/2 hours north of Los Angeles, serene rolling hills and vast vine-covered mesas compose the Santa Maria and Santa Ynez Valleys.’
    • ‘The Virgin and Santa Clara rivers snake easily between flat-topped mesas, following paths of least resistance.’
    • ‘Red sandstone mesas stretched on either side of Interstate 15, reaching upwards of a couple hundred feet.’
    • ‘We'll benefit from vehicle-supported camping with side hikes to canyons and mesas.’
    high ground, rising ground, prominence, eminence, elevation, rise, hillock, mound, mount, knoll, hummock, tor, tump, fell, pike, mesa


Mid 19th century Spanish, literally ‘table’, from Latin mensa.

Main definitions of Mesa in English

: mesa1Mesa2


Pronunciation /ˈmāsə/ /ˈmeɪsə/

proper noun

  • A city in south central Arizona, east of Phoenix; population 463,552 (est. 2008).