or mes·quit

[me-skeet, mes-keet]


any of several usually spiny trees or shrubs belonging to the genus Prosopis, of the legume family, as P. juliflora or P. glandulosa, of western North America, having bipinnate leaves and beanlike pods and often forming dense thickets.
the wood of such a tree or shrub, used especially in grilling or barbecuing food.
any of various similar or related plants.

Origin of mesquite

1830–40, Americanism; < Mexican Spanish mezquite < Nahuatl mizquitl


[me-skeet, mi-]


a city in NE Texas, E of Dallas. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mesquite

Contemporary Examples of mesquite

Historical Examples of mesquite

  • No doubt she could evolve a delicious gum from the mesquite and the incense plant.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • They made their way to the kitchen, and started a blaze with mesquite bark.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • But he made the bank and staggering up to the mesquite tree, he untied Peter.

    The Forbidden Trail

    Honor Willsie

  • For the first time since the stop in the mesquite, Carmena halted her quick advance.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • This suggestion instantly recalled to Clarence his vision in the mesquite.

British Dictionary definitions for mesquite




any small leguminous tree of the genus Prosopis, esp the tropical American P. juliflora, whose sugary pods (mesquite beans) are used as animal fodderAlso called: algarroba, honey locust, honey mesquite

Word Origin for mesquite

C19: from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl mizquitl
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 mesquite

type of North American shrub of the pea family, 1759, from Mexican Spanish mezquite, from Nahuatl (Aztec) mizquitl "mesquite."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper