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type of North American shrub of the pea family, 1759, from Mexican Spanish mezquite, from Nahuatl (Aztec) mizquitl "mesquite."
city, Dallas county, northeastern Texas, U.S., adjacent to the city of Dallas (west). It was established in 1873 when the Texas and Pacific Railway acquired land for the town site (named for the mesquite shrubs that once covered the area), built a depot, and offered lots for sale. Until the 1950s Mesquite was primarily an agricultural town, and its population was quite small; after World War II, however, the city grew rapidly as the Dallas-Fort Worth area expanded. The city developed as a residential, industrial, and retail centre with many of its residents employed in Dallas, and it experienced rapid expansion in the second half of the 20th century. Tourist attractions include the Mesquite Championship Rodeo (weekends April through October) and an annual balloon festival, and the city boasts a well-equipped performing arts centre. Mesquite is the seat of Eastfield (community) College (1970). Inc. 1887. Pop. (1990) 101,484; (2000) 124,523.