\ 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 And in Ukraine in 2014, ancient burial mounds were found to safeguard the last remnants of Europe’s dwindling steppe grasslands. Gemma Conroy, Scientific American, "Graveyards Are Surprising Hotspots for Biodiversity," 24 Feb. 2021 This was the time of their predecessor, the ancient steppe mammoth, a species from Europe that scientists believe pre-dated both woolly mammoths and Columbian mammoths, a North American species. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "World's oldest DNA discovered in 1.2 million-year-old mammoth teeth, study says," 17 Feb. 2021 In a paper published recently in the Journal of Physical Anthropology, Millela and his colleagues use more than 100 skeletal injuries to paint a picture of a steppe society steeped in violence. Andrew Curry, National Geographic, "Ancient empire collapse seen in violent injuries in nomad graveyard," 22 Sep. 2020 Or the mineral-dull winter light of the shrub steppe, hunting chukars on rocky hillsides. Thomas Mcintyre, Field & Stream, "F&S Classic: Light Years," 20 Dec. 2020 Poor soil for farming helped keep Hortobágy’s mosaic of alkaline marshes, meadows, pastures, and loess-steppe vegetation intact. Melissa Findley, National Geographic, "Destinations on the rise for 2021," 20 Nov. 2020 Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins return to Earth one week later, on April 17, with a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. William Harwood, CBS News, "NASA ushering in new era with first operational launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon carrying 4 astronauts," 15 Nov. 2020 Eleven Xiongnu-period skeletons showed genetic signatures similar to those of the Sarmatians, nomad warriors who dominated the region north of the Black Sea, 2000 kilometers across the open steppe from Mongolia. Andrew Curry, Science | AAAS, "Horse mastery helped mysterious Mongolian warriors build a multiethnic empire," 5 Nov. 2020 These pieces were carved when the area was dominated by the Saka, an Iranian steppe people. National Geographic, "Shamans, sun gods, warriors: Thousands of Bronze Age petroglyphs mark this ancient site," 8 Oct. 2020

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

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Steppe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steppe

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

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