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 The population of savanna elephants has fallen at least 60%, the team found. Elizabeth Preston New York Times, Star Tribune, "Some elephants in Africa are just a step from extinction," 1 Apr. 2021 In addition, the populations rarely intersect, as forest elephants live in the tropical forests of Central Africa, and savanna elephants prefer the open country in Sub-Saharan Africa, which includes grasslands and deserts. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, "African elephants now listed as critically endangered after dramatic population declines," 25 Mar. 2021 But in this spot, 15 miles from the equator, golden savanna stretches in every direction, punctuated only by lacy acacia trees and the occasional solitary elephant. Gina Decaprio Vercesi, Travel + Leisure, "Deep in Uganda's Kyambura Gorge, An Endangered Group of Chimpanzees Has Survived Against All Odds," 20 Mar. 2021 The number of African elephants decreased by more than 86% over 31 years, and African savanna elephant populations fell by at least 60% over the last 50 years, according to the ICUN. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, "African elephants now listed as critically endangered after dramatic population declines," 25 Mar. 2021 Most of Australia’s savanna-fire-management programs, however, focus only on carbon emissions reduction—not soil carbon sequestration. Nancy Averett, Scientific American, "How Starting Brush Fires Could Save Africa’s Disappearing Lions," 15 Mar. 2021 Park visitors now may see Ranger and his mother on the savanna. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney: Ranger the rhino now on savanna at Animal Kingdom," 24 Feb. 2021 To test this, García-Hernández and her team at Universidade de São Paulo first collected nearly 150 scorpions from the Brazilian savanna. Bradley Allf, Smithsonian Magazine, "For Constipated Scorpions, Females Suffer Reproductively. Males, Not So Much.," 1 Mar. 2021 Now state and local agencies are restoring waterways — similar to efforts to restore natural savanna and grasslands. Shannon Prather, Star Tribune, "Crews reshape Ramsey County creek," 15 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for savanna

Time Traveler

The first known use of savanna was in 1555

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Statistics for savanna

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Savanna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for savanna

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

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