One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(especially in Spanish-speaking countries or the western US) a long jagged mountain chain.
mountain, hill, height, alp, aiguille, serac, puy, crag, tor, inselbergView synonyms
- ‘In the far north-west, the splinter-like peninsula of Lower California, with its high sierras, is a southward extension of the Sierra Nevada.’
- ‘In 1942 she left her career, her house and her lovers, and took refuge - forever, it was said - in a convent deep in the sierras of Córdoba province, some 500 miles north-west of Buenos Aires.’
- ‘After a few small, technical climbs, I lit out through the hills, following the scree-filled trail through the sierra.’
- ‘Handicrafts in the high sierra around Creel are more rustic.’
- ‘Riding in the fume-filled haze back across the high sierras to Palma, I reflected that Errol really had struck gold when he made Majorca his second home 50 years ago.’
- ‘The upland plateau known as the sierra represents about one-fourth of Peru's land and holds a majority of the country's population.’
- ‘High on the dusty, sun-baked sierras Pedro's whistle barrelled and echoed off the forest-covered hillside.’
- ‘Between these sierras isolated basins and plains are crossed by seasonal rivers that flow only after it rains.’
- ‘It was treated to a carefully controlled, often intimate account that explored the foothills as thoroughly as the high sierras.’
- ‘The northern skyline is dominated by the sierra of the northern Pennines.’
- ‘Last week, on Wednesday, April 28, researcher Hector Picco remarked that he had seen a small white light coming from the sierras and vanishing into the rocky floor of an empty piece of property adjacent to his home.’
- ‘Now home to 300,000 people, it lies in the heart of the southern sierra and the Inca's four-coloured flag - representing the four corners of the empire - still flies in the attractive town square, the Plaza de Armas.’
- ‘However, in traditional Indian communities in the sierra, the first language is Quichua, although they may also speak Spanish.’
- ‘This picturesque land is divided into three main geographic regions: the costa, along the South Pacific; the sierra, or highlands of the Andes mountains; and the selva, or jungle, in the east.’
- ‘Organisers have dropped last year's compact set-up in favour of a return to its traditional format of visiting the three valleys in the sierras of Cordoba, each offering stages of differing character and landscape.’
- ‘Spend a week on horseback in the sierras of southern Spain, riding across open country and through forests, and overnighting at small country hotels.’
- ‘On a long straight road, with the high sierras in the distance, the Drive-Thrus with their neon signs were the only way of judging that you were actually moving forwards.’
- ‘This meant that Sonoran rivers, which originate in the eastern sierras, had to be diverted.’
- ‘Ecuador has three broad geographic areas: the coast, the sierra, and the jungle lowlands.’
- ‘Coming together in a pioneer Indian organization acronymed UZACHI, the Zapotecs and Chinantecos of Calpulapan, a tiny municipality high in the sierra, successfully fended off the loggers and saved their forests.’
2A code word representing the letter S, used in radio communication.
- ‘In the phonetic alphabet, my initials are Sierra Echo (first and middle name), what is yours?’
Mid 16th century: Spanish, from Latin serra ‘saw’.
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