Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An area covered by a dense growth of mostly small-leaved evergreen shrubs, especially in central and southern California.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A close growth, more or less extensive, of low evergreen oaks.
  • noun Any very dense thicket of low thorny shrubs which exclusively occupy the ground; sometimes, a thick growth of cacti.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A thicket of low evergreen oaks.
  • noun An almost impenetrable thicket or succession of thickets of thorny shrubs and brambles.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a bird of the cuckoo family (Geococcyx Californianus), noted for running with great speed. It ranges from California to Mexico and eastward to Texas; -- called also road runner, ground cuckoo, churea, and snake killer. It is the state bird of New Mexico.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A region of shrubs, typically dry in the summer and rainy in the winter. The coast of the Mediterranean is such a region.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Spanish, from chaparro, evergreen oak, from Basque txapar, diminutive of saphar, thicket.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish chaparral, from chaparro + -al, from Basque txaparro, from txapar, from saphar.

Examples

  • On steep hill and mountain slopes too dry to support oak woodland or oak forest, much of the vegetation is scrub or "dwarf forest" know as chaparral, which varies in composition with elevation and exposure.

    California Coastal Chaparral Forest and Shrub Province (Bailey)

  • She is a lovely woman, and her chaparral is a delight; even if it was slightly surreal smelling this distillation of California with it's herbal woodiness and hint of wildfires with the smell of actual wildfires so prominent in the air.

    Fiddling while Rome burns

  • She is a lovely woman, and her chaparral is a delight; even if it was slightly surreal smelling this distillation of California with it's herbal woodiness and hint of wildfires with the smell of actual wildfires so prominent in the air.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • Well the area of Greece, particularly Crete, is a typical location where you have what is called a chaparral environment or biome.

    Olives and People, Past and Present

  • The Mediterranean California region is characterized by a mostly evergreen shrub vegetation called chaparral, plus patches of oak woodland, grassland, and some coniferous forest on upper mountain slopes.

    Mediterranean California ecoregion (CEC)

  • In many cases a plant called chaparral or it's scrub oaks or it's the low grasses that grow with it.

    CNN Transcript Oct 23, 2007

  • Those who build and buy homes amidst chaparral, which is found on the south slope of the mountain adjacent to the city of San Bernardino, are asking for trouble.

    The California Wildfires, and Right-Wing Smoke

  • The Mediterranean forests, woodlands and scrub biome (also called chaparral) has a very specific spatial distribution.

    Terrestrial biome

  • There were also thick, gray thornbushes called chaparral, interlaced amid the equally thorny mesquite.

    The Lonesome Dove Series

  • There were also thick, gray thornbushes called chaparral, interlaced amid the equally thorny mesquite.

    Streets of Laredo

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Every time I hear this word, I remember a piece of music, with a very particular rhythm:

    "Chaparral!" (pause, pause, pause)

    "Chaparral!" (pause, pause, pause)

    Until today, I had no idea why this was. I mean, who would write a song about Californian shrubbery? But now, I've figured it out. It's a distorted relic of my childhood, and you can view it here, if you've no aversion to bagpipes.

    July 5, 2008

  • Citation on arroyo.

    August 26, 2008

  • Missed by nine people at the 2011 county spelling bee!

    March 18, 2011

  • I can't get pterodactyl's link to work. :-(

    March 18, 2011

  • Here, ruzuzu, try this link. I guarantee you will never hear the word "chaparral" the same way again. :-)

    March 19, 2011

  • Hahaha! Okay. I get it now.

    March 19, 2011