tun·​dra | \ ˈtən-drə How to pronounce tundra (audio) also ˈtu̇n- \

Definition of tundra

: a level or rolling treeless plain that is characteristic of arctic and subarctic regions, consists of black mucky soil with a permanently frozen subsoil, and has a dominant vegetation of mosses, lichens, herbs, and dwarf shrubs also : a similar region confined to mountainous areas above timberline

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Examples of tundra in a Sentence

a report on the arctic tundra of Alaska and the polar bears that inhabit that vast, frozen plain
Recent Examples on the Web Tuesday night, on a trip to the frigid tundra, to play just another game against just another losing team in his 18th season, James displayed his repertoire. Star Tribune, "By any measure, LeBron James is among the greatest athletes of all time," 16 Feb. 2021 But a new genetic sampling technique suggests the great beasts may have stuck around a lot longer, plodding through the Arctic tundra with bison and elk for thousands of years more. Riley Black, Scientific American, "Story of Mammoth Survival Is in the Soil," 1 Jan. 2021 Shackleton’s subsequent attempt to lead his 27 men to safety across the frozen tundra became an epic struggle. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Saturday and Sunday Talk ‘The Call of the Wild’," 27 Nov. 2020 There are no purple lines of demarcation on the tundra showing where federal lands end and state lands begin. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "It’s a sad day when people need an A.I. collar to tell them when their dog is happy (or needs to go pee)," 16 Jan. 2021 Akers has plenty of reasons to be confident heading to the frozen tundra, particularly after what's happened during the second half of his increasingly impressive NFL debut season. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, "Rams rookie RB Akers heating up on way to chilly Green Bay," 12 Jan. 2021 The white tundra sparkled, reflecting the purples and blues of the sky. Rachel Louise Snyder, The New Yorker, "A Difficult, Beautiful Christmas in the Arctic Circle," 22 Dec. 2020 The tundra still has scars from the only previous seismic exploration in the refuge, done in the winter in the mid-1980s. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Plan to map oil in Alaska’s Arctic refuge ignores environmental risks, critics say," 21 Dec. 2020 And yet, the tundra seems to be slowly reclaiming most of it. Sarah Gilman, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Alaskan Island That Humans Can’t Conquer," 7 Oct. 2020

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

circa 1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tundra

Russian, from Russian dialect (northeast) tundra, tundara, from Kildin Sami (Sami language of the northern Kola Peninsula) tūnter

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Time Traveler for tundra

Time Traveler

The first known use of tundra was circa 1841

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Statistics for tundra

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tundra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tundra. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for tundra



English Language Learners Definition of tundra

: a large area of flat land in northern parts of the world where there are no trees and the ground is always frozen


tun·​dra | \ ˈtən-drə How to pronounce tundra (audio) \

Kids Definition of tundra

: a treeless plain of arctic regions having a permanently frozen layer below the surface of the soil

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More from Merriam-Webster on tundra

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tundra

Nglish: Translation of tundra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tundra

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