sa·van·na | \ sə-ˈva-nə \
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)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of savanna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Baobabs stud southern Africa’s hot, dry stretches of savanna and are often in areas roamed by elephants, rhinos and other wildlife. Washington Post, "Africa’s iconic baobab trees dying off at alarming rate," 13 July 2018 Restoration work also centered on an overland-flow bioswale, along with savanna and prairie communities on the site. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "The natural and historic charms at Fort Sheridan open to public again," 3 July 2018 In a mock takedown, recruits were slinking through the savanna carrying automatic weapons before pouncing on a poacher and arresting him. National Geographic, "As Tigers Become Rarer, Poachers Are Targeting Lions," 1 June 2018 There is a $6 per car parking fee charged until 7 p.m. Volunteers are needed from 1-3 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 18 to help preserve and restore the black oak savanna and wetland complexes in Miller Woods. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Community news," 11 July 2018 Soft boundaries linked prairie, savanna, shrubland, forest and marsh. New York Times, "Setting Fires and Restoring an American Landscape," 23 Apr. 2018 Hadza are traditional hunter-gatherers who live off wild plants and animals in the dry savanna wilderness of northern Tanzania. Herman Pontzer, Scientific American, "The Exercise Paradox," 26 Feb. 2017 Imara and her new baby will stay in the giraffe barn, an off-exhibit area, for a few weeks until the calf is old enough to be introduced to other animals and explore the zoo's savanna habitat, Hardwick said. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "Phoenix Zoo welcomes new baby giraffe born last week," 4 July 2018 The African lion, Panthera leo, plays a crucial role in the savanna ecosystem. Christopher Bendana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Uganda's pride: Lions test locals' patience," 27 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of savanna

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for savanna

Spanish zavana, from Taino zabana

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about savanna

Statistics for savanna

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for savanna

The first known use of savanna was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on savanna

What made you want to look up savanna? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!