Definition of altiplano in US English:



  • The high tableland of central South America.

    • ‘Moreover, the traffic into Potosi necessarily included huge quantities of food and drink produced all over the altiplano and in the lowlands on either side.’
    • ‘Alpacas originate from the high altiplano of South America, and must withstand vast climate changes.’
    • ‘I have traveled to Ecuador, looking at housing high in the rocky altiplano where nearby volcanoes have snow-covered peaks and along the coast where palm trees barely stir in the noon-day heat.’
    • ‘Dante agreed with me that that white spot on the horizon, so small as to be barely recognizable as a triangle, must be Sajjama, at 6,500 meters the highest peak in that part of the altiplano.’
    • ‘Lower-income people of the high altiplano and those of the tropical lowlands build their own houses with the same logic, but these houses differ in the ways their climates and regional resources would suggest.’


Early 20th century: from Spanish.