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cordillera

[kawr-dl-yair-uh, -air-uh, kawr-dil-er-uh]
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noun
  1. a chain of mountains, usually the principal mountain system or mountain axis of a large landmass.

Origin of cordillera

1695–1705; < Spanish, derivative of cordilla, diminutive of cuerda string, mountain range (< Latin chorda); see cord
Related formscor·dil·le·ran, adjective

Cordilleras

[kawr-dl-yair-uh z, -air-, kawr-dil-er-uh z; Spanish kawr-th ee-ye-rahs 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 formsCor·dil·le·ran, adjectivetrans-Cor·dil·le·ran, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cordilleran

Historical Examples

  • The Tapir Pinchaca appears to be confined to the region of the Cordilleran table-lands.

    The Desert World

    Arthur Mangin

  • During the wet season the vicua browses on the scanty vegetation of the Cordilleran ridges.

    The Desert World

    Arthur Mangin

  • Mexico, unlike other Cordilleran countries, lends itself to travel in certain directions by means of roads and vehicles.

    Mexico

    Charles Reginald Enock


British Dictionary definitions for cordilleran

cordillera

noun
  1. a series of parallel ranges of mountains, esp in the northwestern US
Derived Formscordilleran, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from Spanish, from cordilla, literally: a little cord, from cuerda mountain range, cord

Cordilleras

pl n
  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
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

Word Origin and History for cordilleran

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

cordilleran in Science

cordillera

[kôr′dl-yârə]
  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.