\ ˈstep How to pronounce steppe (audio) \

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

For the past seven years, Bone has curated the steppe collection, which includes the genus sedums. Colleen Smith, The Denver Post, "The perfect plant that’s easy enough for beginner gardeners but also interesting enough for experts," 17 June 2019 An ancient problem Looting is an old tradition on the steppe—as old as the oldest kurgans themselves. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads," 26 Dec. 2018 Many historians had placed the origins of cannabis smoking on the ancient Central Asian steppes, but these arguments relied solely on a passage from a single text from the late first millennium BC, written by the Greek historian Herodotus. Katie Hunt, CNN, "2,500-year-old tomb offers earliest evidence of humans using cannabis to get high," 12 June 2019 Kazakhstan’s vast landmass of steppes lies in the crossroads of Russia and China, and Nazarbayev enjoys a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, while welcoming China’s investment in Central Asia. Sabra Ayres,, "Presidents may come and go. In Kazakhstan, there’s only one Father of the Nation," 6 June 2019 Experts say warmer winters combined with fewer wildfires at higher elevations of sagebrush steppe have allowed junipers to expand into areas once filled with sagebrush and native grasses. Washington Post, "Environmental group appeals massive juniper removal in Idaho," 29 June 2018 The elephants on our planet right now can't tolerate the cold climate of the steppe. Yasemin Saplakoglu, Fox News, "Could reviving Woolly-Mammoth genes fight the effects of global warming?," 17 May 2018 The piercing, fable-like novella (translated by Andrew Bromfield) starkly captures the damage wrought by Cold War-era atomic testing on the environment and people of the steppes of Kazakhstan. Nicole Lamy, New York Times, "Around the World in Books," 16 Jan. 2018 Today the steppe from the Black Sea to northern China is dotted with thousands of their tombs—deep grave pits, covered with mounds of stone or soil. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads," 26 Dec. 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

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce steppe (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on steppe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steppe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steppe

Spanish Central: Translation of steppe

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

Comments on steppe

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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