kur·​gan | \ ku̇r-ˈgän How to pronounce kurgan (audio) , -ˈgan How to pronounce kurgan (audio) \

Definition of kurgan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a burial mound of eastern Europe or Siberia


geographical name
Kur·​gan | \ ku̇r-ˈgan How to pronounce Kurgan (audio) , -ˈgän \

Definition of Kurgan (Entry 2 of 2)

city on the Tobol River and the Trans-Siberian Railroad in southwestern Russia in Asia population 333,600

Examples of kurgan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For the past four years, a joint Russian-Swiss team of archaeologists has been excavating a kurgan, or burial mound, in the Russian republic of Tuva in southern Siberia. Andrew Curry, National Geographic, 22 Sep. 2020 University of Sydney archaeologist Gino Caspari and his colleagues searched for Scythian burial mounds, or kurgans, in high-resolution satellite images of a 110 square kilometer (68.4 square mile) area of the Xinjiang province in northwestern China. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 26 Dec. 2018 An ancient problem Looting is an old tradition on the steppe—as old as the oldest kurgans themselves. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 26 Dec. 2018 The two apparent plague victims were buried together in a kurgan: a wooden chamber beneath a mound of earth. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 12 June 2018 That group consisted of herders from the Asian steppes, whose skeletons and genes are known from their burial mounds called kurgans. Jared Diamond, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2018 The preliminary dig suggests the structure is the relatively undisturbed kurgan—a tomb of a Scythian prince. Mika Mckinnon, Smithsonian, 22 Jan. 2018 The tomb, named Tunnug 1 (or Arzhan 0), could be the oldest and largest kurgan yet found in southern Siberia. Mika Mckinnon, Smithsonian, 22 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kurgan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of kurgan


1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kurgan


Russian, of Turkic origin; akin to Turkish kurgan fortress, castle

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Cite this Entry

“Kurgan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kurgan. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on kurgan

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kurgan


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