\ ˈstep \

Definition of steppe 

1 : one of the vast usually level and treeless tracts in southeastern Europe or Asia

2 : arid land with xerophilous vegetation found usually in regions of extreme temperature range and loess soil

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Examples of steppe in a Sentence

nomads have long grazed yaks on the steppes of Mongolia

Recent Examples on the Web

Today, 66 million livestock roam the Mongolian steppe, nearly three times the 23 million cap maintained in the communist era. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Mongolia’s nomadic way of life threatened by climate change, neglect, modernity," 8 July 2018 Traces of West Eurasian genes in Asian populations has been taken as evidence the Yamnaya left a large genetic legacy east of the steppe. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "These Asian hunter-gatherers may have been the first people to domesticate horses," 9 May 2018 The Botai were most closely related to a group of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, not people of the western steppes like the Yamnaya. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Ancient DNA Study Pokes Holes in Horse Domestication Theory," 9 May 2018 Viktoria Latishova, a 19-year-old waitress in Saransk on the edge of the steppe, rejoiced at meeting an American for the first time, spilling with curiosity despite her limited English. Angela Charlton, The Christian Science Monitor, "World Cup host Russia defies Soviet-era, hostile image with smiles," 20 June 2018 Briefly: Sweltering summer temperatures could be a problem for teams coming to the southern Russian steppe to play group or last-16 games in Rostov-on-Don. James Ellingworth,, "Here is a look at all 12 World Cup stadiums in Russia," 11 June 2018 In the east, thousands of blind storytellers once wandered the Kharkiv steppe doing the same. Linda Kinstler, Longreads, "Angrily Experiencing the Best Days of Our Lives," 27 June 2018 In addition to the steppes of Mongolia, destinations include the Australian Outback; the wild lands of Rwanda and Tanzania; the Buddhist sites of Tibet; and the salt flats, volcanoes and hot springs of Bolivia. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Reindeer herders, eagle hunters: New Silversea tour brings rare encounters in Mongolia," 15 June 2018 Then later waves of Bronze Age migrants—in Europe’s case, herders from the Central Asian steppe—moved in and established the population structure scientists see today. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "How rice farming may have spread across the ancient world," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'steppe.' 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 steppe

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for steppe

Russian step'

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Statistics for steppe

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for steppe

The first known use of steppe was in 1671

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More Definitions for steppe



English Language Learners Definition of steppe

: a large, flat area of land with grass and very few trees especially in eastern Europe and Asia


\ ˈstep \

Kids Definition of steppe

: land that is dry, rather level, mostly treeless, and covered with grass in regions (as parts of Asia and southeastern Europe) with usually hot summers and cold winters

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Comments on steppe

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an open space surrounded by woods

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