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

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 Both Kloss and Kushner shared Instagrams set against the savanna, complete with lions and elephants. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner Head to South Africa on Their Honeymoon," 27 Dec. 2018 In the one-minute clip, we're transported back to the movie's African savanna setting, only this time, everything has come to life. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Disney Debuted the Trailer for "The Lion King" Live-Action Movie," 22 Nov. 2018 Roberts and his colleagues used those chemical signatures to reconstruct an ancient environment that looked surprisingly like the humid savanna of modern East Africa. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists find 300,000-year-old stone tools in Saudi Arabia," 29 Oct. 2018 And at Ti’s al Ghadah, those ratios suggest an environment very similar to a humid savanna. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists find 300,000-year-old stone tools in Saudi Arabia," 29 Oct. 2018 At 110 acres, the safari grounds that are meant to transport guests to an African savanna make up the largest attraction in any Disney theme park in the world. Bruce Pecho,, "20 things you may not know about Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which turns 20 on Earth Day," 17 Apr. 2018 Oak savanna is now one of the rarest ecosystems on our planet. New York Times, "Setting Fires and Restoring an American Landscape," 23 Apr. 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

3 Apr 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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