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 Botswana has the world’s biggest population of elephants, with about 130,000 of the giant mammals roaming the country’s swamps and savanna. Antony Sguazzin,, "Botswana Sells Rights to Kill Elephants for $43,000 Per Head," 29 Apr. 2020 Professional gamekeepers and park rangers take viewers out into the savannas of South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve to scout for wildlife, giving you the experience of a safari from home. Mary Turner, Outside Online, "Travel the World with These Livestream Cameras," 26 Apr. 2020 That’s because the team used a first-of-its-kind virtual-reality shooting setup to plan the film’s iconic savanna scenes. Popular Science, "The 100 greatest innovations of 2019," 3 Dec. 2019 The lush volcanic forests of the park in eastern Congo are home to unparalleled biodiversity, including forest and savanna elephants and hundreds of bird species, along with the endangered mountain gorillas. Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times, "12 Rangers Among 17 Killed in Congo Park Ambush," 25 Apr. 2020 In general, when livestock numbers in the savanna increase, wildlife numbers go down. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Rootin’, poopin’ African elephants help keep soil fertile," 1 Apr. 2020 The bird makes its home in grasslands and woodlands, as well as open savannas as long as there are nearby trees to roost in and build nests for its young. National Geographic, "Southern ground hornbill," 2 Mar. 2020 The iconic wildlife of the African savanna—zebras, gazelles, and other grazers—has for decades been under pressure from some unnatural rivals. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Rootin’, poopin’ African elephants help keep soil fertile," 1 Apr. 2020 For a unique experience, book the Wild Africa Trek ($189 to $249 per person) through Animal Kingdom’s version of an African savanna. Dallas News, "What it costs to be a VIP at Walt Disney World in Florida," 16 Mar. 2020

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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Savanna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for savanna


How to pronounce savanna (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with savanna

Spanish Central: Translation of savanna

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

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