One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top (similar to but narrower than a mesa).
high ground, rising ground, prominence, eminence, elevation, rise, hillock, mound, mount, knoll, hummock, tor, tump, fell, pike, mesaView synonyms
- ‘Located in southeastern Utah, Canyonlands encompasses high mesas and buttes, burnt red sandstone pinnacles and arches, and a myriad of canyons and deep gorges cut by the Green and Colorado Rivers.’
- ‘From the edges of the valley, the land rises abruptly in steep high buttes.’
- ‘The park shows off some of the most striking landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas, and spires in the entire Southwest.’
- ‘He explained the difference between the mesas and buttes in the distance and challenged us to find images of birds, couples dancing joyfully, and snakes in the sticklike forms of petroglyphs.’
- ‘From Moab, they will drive to Monument Valley, famous for the towering red buttes and mesas, which have formed the background for countless westerns.’
- ‘Most notably, the hills and buttes that mark the landscape are generally depicted in a descriptive shorthand, outlined in a single stroke, or suggested by a mass of a single color.’
- ‘Over the past 80 million years, the sand and mud of the sauropod nesting grounds have solidified into sandstone and mudstone that are visible today as distinct bands or layers in the site's ridges, buttes, and ravines.’
- ‘It's sheer desert for three-hundred miles, with only hills and buttes to alleviate the nothingness.’
- ‘Mesa table-mountains and free-standing buttes flashed by, chocolate-coloured and beige, magenta and orange.’
- ‘The vista before me was a classic of the American West: red sandstone buttes rising from a valley floor, made redder still by the setting sun.’
Mid 19th century: from French, ‘mound’, from Old French but, of unknown origin (compare with butt).
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