[ mil-puh ]

  1. (in certain tropical regions) a tract of land cleared from the jungle, usually by burning, farmed for a few seasons, and then abandoned.

Origin of milpa

1835–45, Americanism;<Mexican Spanish <Nahuatl mīlpan, equivalent to mīl(li) cultivated field + -pan locative suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use milpa in a sentence

  • One complete room, however, has been preserved and appears to be still occupied during the cultivation of the neighboring milpas.

    A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola | Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff
  • The humus is rarely more than a few centimeters deep, and consequently cornfields (milpas) must be moved every two or three years.

  • But another field of milpas had to be passed, and he was again gaining upon me, as we galloped over the heavy ground.

    The War Trail | Mayne Reid
  • By the time the sun is up, the cattle have been tended and the Indians are off to the milpas or the henequen fields.

    The American Egypt | Channing Arnold
  • Camote, a kind of sweet potato, and tomatoes are produced, usually in the milpas with the maize.

    The American Egypt | Channing Arnold