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 Over the past dozen years, Team Shrub has used satellites, drones, and boots on the ground to study the Arctic ice retreat—and flora advance—in the carbon-rich tundra. Graham Hacia, Wired, "Meet This Year’s WIRED25: People Who Are Making Things Better," 9 Sep. 2020 Previous research has largely focused on mammoths, as well as bison and musk ox, which thrived in the cold grasslands called tundra steppes. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Mastodons migrated across extreme distances due to climate change, study says," 1 Sep. 2020 But residents who live along the Arctic tundra aren't the only ones who should be concerned. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Why This Monstrous Crater Suddenly Appeared in Russia," 1 Sep. 2020 Now the pair, named Akiak and Sura, can be seen bounding around the zoo’s tundra exhibit with their mother and grandmother in a livestream. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Celebrate Mother’s Day With Nine Baby Animal Livestreams," 8 May 2020 Shakhtyorsky was a Soviet creation, wrested from the tundra’s green sedges. Bathsheba Demuth, The Atlantic, "Siberia’s Malady Is the Same as Mine," 28 Aug. 2020 Drilling would also threaten the Arctic’s fragile climate, environmentalists say, where temperatures rising twice as fast as the rest of the world are already thawing the region’s permafrost and upending the tundra’s ecosystem. Sunset Magazine, "Trump Administration Approves Oil Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," 21 Aug. 2020 Their habitat includes marshes, prairies, grasslands and even Arctic tundra. Jim Gilbert, Star Tribune, "Elegant sandhill cranes plentiful in Minnesota after steep decline in 1940s," 20 Aug. 2020 Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo had all sworn off financing oil development in the tundra’s refuge. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Trump is opening Alaska’s wilderness to the oil business, but no one is buying," 20 Aug. 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

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tundra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tundra. Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for tundra


How to pronounce tundra (audio)

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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