sa·​van·​na sə-ˈva-nə How to pronounce savanna (audio)
variants or less commonly savannah
: a treeless plain especially in Florida
: a tropical or subtropical grassland (as of eastern Africa or northern South America) containing scattered trees and drought-resistant undergrowth
: a temperate grassland with scattered trees (such as oaks)

Examples of savanna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web From the dense canopies of rainforests to the open expanses of savannas and woodlands, these primates have shown an incredible ability to thrive in various environments. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 30 Jan. 2024 The series brings viewers to New York City, a Costa Rican jungle, a backyard in suburban Texas, the African savanna, and a farm in Britain to see how familiar and more unique bugs live, eat, and get around. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 24 Jan. 2024 Early in the morning, as the sunlight emerges timidly over the savanna, mist moves through intertwining forests and pasture. Luis Bernardo Cano, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Oct. 2023 In the Amazon, forest plots subjected to frequent fires began to resemble savannas; at these sites, ants and butterflies that favored forests declined, while species preferring open habitats moved in, scientists found. Emily Anthes, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2023 While eastern black rhinos are native to the warm savannas and shrublands of Africa, per the ICUN Red List, this fact didn't stop Tumani from frolicking in the snow. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2024 January 25, 2024, 2 PM ET Out on the savannas of East Africa, lions have always loomed large. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 25 Jan. 2024 Ride open-air vehicles across the savanna, observing giraffes, rhinos, zebras and other African wildlife in their natural habitats. 5. Maeghan Dolph, Fox News, 6 Jan. 2024 Recommended That creates an incentive for farmers to clear new areas through deforestation in endangered biomes including the Amazon and the Cerrado tropical savanna. Andre Cabette Fabio, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'savanna.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish zavana, from Taino zabana

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of savanna was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near savanna

Cite this Entry

“Savanna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also savannah
: a grassland (as of eastern Africa or northern South America) containing scattered trees

More from Merriam-Webster on savanna

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