Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. akin to badlands, but having volcaniclastic rather than sedimentary rocks
  • n. land having an underlayer of basaltic lava and little or no soil

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The rough surface of a congealed lava stream.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The ragged surface of a lava-flow.

Etymologies

From Spanish malpaís (mal ("bad") + país ("land")) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The site sits on a landform called malpais, a young, rugged volcanic landscape "that looks like gravel dumped into a big pile," he said.

    NewsOK.com RSS - home

  • Plain to see, each would guide a party around some predetermined section of the malpais.

    Operation Luna

  • Do you suppose an invalid would traipse around the malpais after dark?

    Operation Luna

  • I did describe our search through the malpais with the two feds.

    Operation Luna

  • We landed in a gaunt part of the malpais, beyond sight of anything human, and got off.

    Operation Luna

  • It cast pallor and long shadows across the malpais.

    Operation Luna

  • He knew the large woman must be a witch, for only a witch would be traveling through the malpais with so many men.

    Dead Man’s Walk

  • The night before, in the little cave where he rested, he had seen a snake, though it was much too cold for snakes to be moving about; worse, late in the night, he had heard the call of an owl, though he was far out on the malpais, where no owls flew.

    Dead Man’s Walk

  • Parts of our Arizona range were covered with great beds of broken malpais rock, really black lava, hard as iron, with edges sharp and jagged.

    Ranching, Sport and Travel

  • A low range of black malpais buttes stretched between him and the man he had despoiled, and as yet the direction of his flight could not be observed.

    The Long Chance

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Out West poor Ernest found no fan.
    As growled the cowpoke, Dirty Dan,
    "I'd rather crawl a far piece
    Over sharp malpais
    Than talk to that word huntin' man."

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    September 18, 2014

  • 'bad lands' an area of recent (< 1000 years) volcanic basaltic rope lava

    March 29, 2009