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 During the last ice age, glaciers came close to Hocking Hills, leaving behind species, such as eastern hemlock and Canada yew, more often seen on the alpine tundra. Washington Post, 23 July 2021 After eight days, her body was discovered on the tundra more than 2 miles from a playground where she was last seen. Anchorage Daily News, 22 June 2021 Passengers have the opportunity to step on the Greenland Ice Sheet and explore the tundra and other remote parts of the area. USA Today, 22 May 2021 The decision effectively halts any plans to drill in one of the largest tracts of untouched wilderness in the United States, delicate tundra that is home to migrating waterfowl, caribou, and polar bears. BostonGlobe.com, 1 June 2021 Located south of Breckenridge, this alpine tundra route starts at the Spruce Creek Trailhead and traverses 6.8 miles round trip past Lower Mohawk Lake and Upper Mohawk Lake. Sarah Kuta, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 May 2021 Areas identified as functionally intact included east Siberia and northern Canada for boreal and tundra biomes, parts of the Amazon and Congo basin tropical forests and the Sahara Desert. David Bressan, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 Snowy owls spend their summers nesting on the tundra north of the Arctic circle. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Nov. 2020 Adaptable beyond our understanding, robins have made themselves at home from Texas to the tundra. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Apr. 2021

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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tundra swan

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Last Updated

28 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tundra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tundra. Accessed 30 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on tundra

Nglish: Translation of tundra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tundra


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