[kawr-dl-yair-uh z, -air-, kawr-dil-er-uh z; Spanish kawr-th ee-ye-rahs for 1]
- a mountain system in W South America: the Andes and its component ranges.
- a mountain system in W North America, including the Sierra Nevada, Coast Range, Cascade Range, and Rocky Mountains.
- the entire chain of mountain ranges parallel to the Pacific coast, extending from Cape Horn to Alaska.
[kawr-dl-yair-uh, -air-uh, kawr-dil-er-uh]
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cordilleras
And over there in Brazil, and up there towards the Cordilleras, it is unknown.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
There are only two practicable passes that I know of in this part of the Cordilleras.
They proceeded from that part of the Cordilleras which lay in darkness.
Here the voyagers were abreast of some of the grandest heights of the Cordilleras.The Red True Story Book
I have just returned from Mendoza, having crossed the Cordilleras by two passes.More Letters of Charles Darwin
- 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
- a series of parallel ranges of mountains, esp in the northwestern US
C18: from Spanish, from cordilla, literally: a little cord, from cuerda mountain range, cord
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 cordilleras
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
- 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.