Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[mey-suh] /ˈmeɪ sə/
a land formation, less extensive than a plateau, having steep walls and a relatively flat top and common in arid and semiarid parts of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.
1750-60, Americanism; < Spanish: table < Latin mēnsa


[mey-suh] /ˈmeɪ sə/
a city in central Arizona, near Phoenix. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mesas
  • Aside from looming coal silos and a few roads across the mesas, the underground mines make scant visible marks on the land.
  • Trails tend either follow mesa edges or transect canyons and mesas.
  • mesas are isolated portions of plateaus that, although much smaller than plateaus, are still wider than they are tall.
  • The park is characterized by high plateaus, a maze of narrow, deep sandstone canyons and striking rock towers and mesas.
  • Smaller structures resembling plateaus are known as mesas and buttes.
  • Numerous reddish-colored buttes and dark, uplifted volcanic mesas dissected by narrow canyons distinguish this wilderness.
British Dictionary definitions for mesas


a flat tableland with steep edges, common in the southwestern US
Word Origin
from Spanish: table
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 mesas



"high table land," 1759, from Spanish mesa "plateau," literally "table," from Latin mensa "table" (source of Rumanian masa, Old French moise "table").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mesas in Science
An area of high land with a flat top and two or more steep, clifflike sides. Mesas are larger than buttes and smaller than plateaus, and are common in the southwest United States.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Related Abbreviations for mesas


microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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