Is there any difference in meaning and usage between "desmalezar", "desbrozar" and "escardar" (= to weed) ? I cannot see a clear difference in meaning by reading their definitions in DLE (https://dle.rae.es/desmalezar , https://dle.rae.es/desbrozar , https://dle.rae.es/escardar) and in Word Reference.

Regarding usage, according to Word Reference and DLE, "desmalezar" is an americanism. What about the other two?

  • Are we talking about weeding (removing weeds)? If so, what I have heard in the countryside in Mexico is limpiar or quitarla maleza. I don't know about other countries. Jan 24, 2020 at 3:37
  • @aparente001 Yes, that's the meaning. Jan 24, 2020 at 9:55
  • I've never heard campesinos in Mexico use any of these terms. I don't know about other countries, though. Jan 25, 2020 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


All the three verbs have a similar meaning: to remove unwanted vegetal mass:

  • Desmalezar means quitar la maleza.
  • Desbrozar means quitar la broza.
  • Escardar means quitar los cardos o malas hierbas.

So the difference is what you are removing:

  • Maleza (malas hierbas) means weed. So you are removing still alive plants.
  • Broza means dead leaves, dead brushwood o trash. So you are removing dead branches, leaves or plants.
  • Cardo is a thistle.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.