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[kwes-tuh] /ˈkwɛs tə/
a long, low ridge with a relatively steep face or escarpment on one side and a long, gentle slope on the other.
1810-20, Americanism; < Spanish: shoulder, sloping land < Latin costa side (of a hill), rib; see coast Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for cuesta


a long low ridge with a steep scarp slope and a gentle back slope, formed by the differential erosion of strata of differing hardness
Word Origin
Spanish: shoulder, from Latin costa side, rib
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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cuesta in Science
A ridge with a gentle slope on one side and a cliff or escarpment on the other. The gentler slope is formed by the differential erosion of underlying rock, and the cliff consists of an outcrop of harder, more resistant rock.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for cuesta

physical feature that has a steep cliff or escarpment on one side and a gentle dip or back slope on the other. This landform occurs in areas of tilted strata and is caused by the differential weathering and erosion of the hard capping layer and the soft underlying cliff maker, which erodes more rapidly. Cuestas with dip slopes of 40-45 are usually called hogback ridges.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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