Definition of palapa in English:



  • 1A traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches.

    • ‘Two years in the making, the house is something between a Mexican palapa and an Indonesian-style bure.’
    • ‘Traditionally, a palapa is an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves: or any structure that is open-sided and thatched with palm leaves.’
    • ‘You could see it beyond the brick windscreen, through rows of tropical fruit trees, behind a sundeck, a palapa, and a tile-roofed verandah.’
    • ‘The residents live mostly in palapas, rough-hewn shacks made of strapped-together poles.’
    • ‘Relief from the hot, midday sun of the Riviera Maya is found under the palapa roofs and sidewalk awnings of cafes and restaurants, inside dozens of craft tiendas, or in the cool interiors of air-conditioned boutiques.’
    • ‘Rancho Viejo became our base for two days as we did day rides in the area and returned to sleep under the palapas at night.’
    • ‘The roofs are thatched with palapa fronds; the walls have bright indigenous colours.’
    1. 1.1US A structure resembling a palapa, especially on a beach.
      • ‘Then we headed back to the beach, for drinks and lunch with homemade tortillas under the palapa.’
      • ‘Its reception area is a palapa, a huge, open-air structure roofed with dried palm fronds.’
      • ‘He was with some other surfers in the shade of a palapa, stretched out in a plastic chair, drinking from a water bottle.’
      • ‘Don't expect to find him sipping piña coladas under an oceanside palapa; he's far more likely to be brewing cowboy coffee over a yak-dung fire.’
      • ‘Prints are the fun side of camp shirts, a shot in the arm of textile cheer that can be as wild as an afternoon at the palapa bar or subtle as an island sunset.’
      • ‘Dishes like spicy tannia-root soup and grilled local snapper are served in the stone-and-timber dining pavilion, in your cottage, or in one of the many thatched palapa huts dotting the island.’


Mexican Spanish, denoting the palm Orbignya cohune.