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[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.
Origin of mesa
1750-60, Americanism; < Spanish: table < Latin mēnsa


[mey-suh] /ˈmeɪ sə/
a city in central Arizona, near Phoenix.

La Mesa

[lah mey-suh] /lɑ ˈmeɪ sə/
a city in SW California. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mesa
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A strong wind drove gustily across the mesa and laid hold of the corners of the roof.

    The Basket Woman Mary Austin
  • Lee was reading a newspaper Jack had brought with him from mesa.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • This mountain rises from the surface of a high table-land, or, as it is called in this part of the world, a mesa.

  • The sheriff of mesa County has already started with a posse.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • They had reached the edge of the mesa––and the pale yellow of the sky had been covered with a weird murky red.

    The Flute of the Gods Marah Ellis Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for mesa


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 mesa

"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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mesa 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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mesa in Technology

Xerox PARC, 1977. System and application programming for proprietary hardware: Alto, Dolphin, Dorado and Dandelion. Pascal-like syntax, ALGOL68-like semantics. An early version was weakly typed. Mesa's modules with separately compilable definition and implementation parts directly led to Wirth's design for Modula. Threads, coroutines (fork/join), exceptions, and monitors. Type checking may be disabled. Mesa was used internally by Xerox to develop ViewPoint, the Xerox Star, MDE, and the controller of a high-end copier. It was released to a few universitites in 1985. Succeeded by Cedar.
["Mesa Language Manual", J.G. Mitchell et al, Xerox PARC, CSL-79-3 (Apr 1979)].
["Early Experience with Mesa", Geschke et al, CACM 20(8):540-552 (Aug 1977)].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for mesa


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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