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Cordilleras

[kawr-dl-yair-uh z, -air-, kawr-dil-er-uh z; Spanish kawr-th ee-ye-rahs for 1] /ˌkɔr dlˈyɛər əz, -ˈɛər-, kɔrˈdɪl ər əz; Spanish ˌkɔr ðiˈyɛ rɑs for 1/
noun
1.
a mountain system in W South America: the Andes and its component ranges.
2.
a mountain system in W North America, including the Sierra Nevada, Coast Range, Cascade Range, and Rocky Mountains.
3.
the entire chain of mountain ranges parallel to the Pacific coast, extending from Cape Horn to Alaska.
Related forms
Cordilleran, adjective
trans-Cordilleran, adjective

cordillera

[kawr-dl-yair-uh, -air-uh, kawr-dil-er-uh] /ˌkɔr dlˈyɛər ə, -ˈɛər ə, kɔrˈdɪl ər ə/
noun
1.
a chain of mountains, usually the principal mountain system or mountain axis of a large landmass.
Origin
1695-1705
1695-1705; < Spanish, derivative of cordilla, diminutive of cuerda string, mountain range (< Latin chorda); see cord
Related forms
cordilleran, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Cordilleras

Cordilleras

/ˌkɔːdɪlˈjɛərəz; Spanish korðiˈʎeras/
plural noun
1.
the Cordilleras, the complex of mountain ranges on the W side of the Americas, extending from Alaska to Cape Horn and including the Andes and the Rocky Mountains

cordillera

/ˌkɔːdɪlˈjɛərə/
noun
1.
a series of parallel ranges of mountains, esp in the northwestern US
Derived Forms
cordilleran, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Spanish, from cordilla, literally: a little cord, from cuerda mountain range, cord
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Cordilleras

cordillera

n.

1704, from Spanish, "mountain chain," from cordilla, in Old Spanish "string, rope," diminutive of cuerda, from Latin chorda "cord, rope" (see cord).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Cordilleras in Science
cordillera
  (kôr'dl-yâr'ə)   
A long and wide chain of mountains, especially the main mountain range of a large landmass. Cordilleras can include the valleys, basins, rivers, lakes, plains, and plateaus between parallel chains of a single mountain system, or they can consist solely of a string of connected mountain peaks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for Cordilleras

cordillera

(from old Spanish cordilla, "cord," or "little rope"), a system of mountain ranges that often consist of a number of more or less parallel chains. Cordilleras are an extensive feature in the Americas and Eurasia. In North America the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevadas, and the mountains between them are collectively known as the Cordilleras, and the entire area has been termed the Cordilleran region. The term Cordillera is used with a directional modifier (e.g., Cordillera Oriental) to differentiate the various chains of the Andes Mountains as they extend through Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and other countries in South America.

Learn more about cordillera with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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