trans·​hu·​mance tran(t)s-ˈhyü-mən(t)s How to pronounce transhumance (audio)
: seasonal movement of livestock (such as sheep) between mountain and lowland pastures either under the care of herders or in company with the owners
tran(t)s-ˈhyü-mənt How to pronounce transhumance (audio)
adjective or noun

Examples of transhumance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The government had recently decreed an end to their ancestral transhumance, offering permanent settlements and farmland in its stead. Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2021 One path follows an ancient trail of the transhumance — the biannual transfer of sheep and other herd animals between high and low ground. Elizabeth Heath, Travel + Leisure, 3 July 2021 The main activities include transhumance, grazing and hiking tourism. Alex Treadway, National Geographic, 14 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'transhumance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from transhumer to practice transhumance, from Spanish trashumar, from tras- trans- (from Latin trans-) + Latin humus earth — more at humble

First Known Use

circa 1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of transhumance was circa 1901

Dictionary Entries Near transhumance

Cite this Entry

“Transhumance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on transhumance

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!