sa·​van·​na | \ sə-ˈva-nə How to pronounce savanna (audio) \
variants: or less commonly savannah

Definition of savanna

1 : a treeless plain especially in Florida
2a : a tropical or subtropical grassland (as of eastern Africa or northern South America) containing scattered trees and drought-resistant undergrowth
b : a temperate grassland with scattered trees (such as oaks)

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Examples of savanna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Africa’s dense rain forests turned into savannas and deserts. Paul Manger, Quartz Africa, "Elephants evolved larger brains partly thanks to climate change, say scientists," 28 June 2019 Climbing to the top of the Urucum plateau, a shock of rust-red land thrust 1 kilometer above the Brazilian savanna, is a journey into Earth's deep past. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Dinosaur-age landscapes lurk in Southern Hemisphere," 26 June 2019 This stretch travels through black oak savanna, with lupine and burly oaks. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trails, beaches and more things to do in Indiana Dunes National Park," 20 Feb. 2019 Vegetation on the African savannas, for example, feeds animals including zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, and giraffes. Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "Grasslands, explained," 22 June 2019 The Pride Lands aren’t a specific African savanna, but the location does teach children many of the different habitats coexisting on the continent. Trevor Fraser,, "Disney on Ice brings a ‘Road Trip’ to Amway Center," 9 June 2019 Behind the beautiful facade of a rainforest, a savanna or a placid lake is a world teeming with contests and partnerships. Quanta Magazine, "How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable," 26 Sep. 2018 Some 30,000 African elephants are slaughtered by poachers each year, with African savanna elephant numbers plummeting 30 percent between 2007 and 2014. Michael Nichols, National Geographic, "UK to Introduce 'Toughest' Ivory Ban in the World," 3 Apr. 2018 Rare forest elephants—smaller than their savanna-dwelling brethren—stroll where the dense rainforest meets the beach in Gabon’s Loango National Park. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Roughing It: Tourists Are Boldly Going Into African Trouble Spots," 19 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'savanna.' 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 savanna

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for savanna

Spanish zavana, from Taino zabana

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Statistics for savanna

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for savanna

The first known use of savanna was in 1555

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More Definitions for savanna



English Language Learners Definition of savanna

: a large flat area of land with grass and very few trees especially in Africa and South America


variants: also savannah \ sə-​ˈva-​nə \

Kids Definition of savanna

: land of warm regions (as Africa) that is covered with grass and only a few shrubs and trees

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More from Merriam-Webster on savanna

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with savanna

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for savanna

Spanish Central: Translation of savanna

Nglish: Translation of savanna for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about savanna

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