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

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

Seabirds laying eggs on rocks and songbirds nesting on the tundra would offer rats a buffet. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "A rat was found dead on St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea. Here’s why that’s a big deal.," 2 July 2019 Learn the basics of adventure photography, and capture your friends hiking across Denali’s wild tundra, or rafting the glacial waters of the Nenana River. National Geographic, "Alaska Middle School Expedition," 12 June 2019 Early dogs had jobs, like pulling sleds in the tundra or hunting with early humans in Jordan. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Ancient Dogs Weren’t the Workhorses We Thought They Were," 18 June 2019 You’ll be dropped into rugged, trailless wilderness, an alpine tundra with views of Denali and not another soul in sight. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "Bucket List Heli Trips That Don't Involve Skiing," 30 Mar. 2018 Her remains were found eight days later in rugged tundra accessible only by a four-wheeler or on foot. Fox News, "Alaska man charged with murder in 10-year-old girl's slaying," 24 Sep. 2018 Her remains were found eight days later in rugged tundra accessible only by a four-wheeler or on foot. Rachel D'oro, The Seattle Times, "Alaska man charged with murder in 10-year-old girl’s slaying," 24 Sep. 2018 Thanks to the polar vortex that's turned most of the country into a frozen tundra this week, most us just barely eked out getting to work in sub-zero (or in some cases, -30º F) temps. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How Birds Stay Warm in the Winter, In Case You Were Wondering," 1 Feb. 2019 Under a sky frequently illuminated by aurora borealis, visitors can set off by sea to watch whales, or across the tundra to visit the indigenous Sami people and attempt to endear themselves to reindeer. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "Europe in Winter: 35 Reasons to Visit Off-Season," 21 Nov. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near tundra





tundra swan

tundra vole


Statistics for tundra

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for tundra

The first known use of tundra was circa 1841

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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

Spanish Central: Translation of tundra

Nglish: Translation of tundra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tundra

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