\ ˈvelt How to pronounce veld (audio) , ˈfelt How to pronounce veld (audio) \
variants: or veldt

Definition of veld

: a grassland especially of southern Africa usually with scattered shrubs or trees

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Veld (also spelled "veldt") comes from Afrikaans, the language of the Afrikaners, the descendants of the Dutch and Huguenot people who settled in southern Africa in the 17th century. Literally, veld means "field," and is akin to "feld," the Old English predecessor of "field." English speakers adopted the Africa-specific sense of "veld" in the 19th century. "Veld" refers to open country in southern Africa. Different regions of "veld" are distinguished by their elevations. There is the Highveld, the Lowveld, and the Middle Veld, each with different geographical characteristics. Another term associated with "veld" is "kopje" (or "koppie" - both are pronounced \KAH-pee). This word came to English from Afrikaans (and ultimately from a Dutch word meaning "small head" or "cup") and refers to a small hill, particularly one on the African veld.

Examples of veld in a Sentence

lions prowling the African veld
Recent Examples on the Web Working with local landscape architect Dawid Klopper, the couple removed most of the non-native foliage and replaced it with indigenous plants more typical of South Africa’s veld, or grassland, like aloes and red grass. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "In Johannesburg, a Space-Age Bungalow With Killer Views Is Reborn," 5 Jan. 2021 There is still plenty of grassland here, or veld, as South Africans call it. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Put down that veggie burger. These farmers say their cows can solve the climate crisis," 6 Mar. 2020 The veld looked like the giant desiccated hide of some ancient creature, skinned and scarred and skeletal. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Early in the play, Piet says of the plants: That veld is a hard world. Christopher Arnott,, "Apartheid Drama "A Lesson From Aloes" At Hartford Stage Has Powerful, Relevant Message," 29 May 2018 Only 20 feet separated my truck from the king of the veld. charlotteobserver, "Mourning a friend, Charlotte man found healing – amid surreal African beauty," 27 Oct. 2017 The giraffe now appeared to be part of a surreal painting, running across a purplish veld beneath a red sky. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Pete Turner, Whose Color Photography Could Alter Reality, Dies at 83," 22 Sep. 2017 But while giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions, baboons and warthogs stalk, clamber and strut across the veld, the one thing tourists and hunters will rarely see on a South African safari is a black South African. Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, "Kruger Park, South Africa: Where Black Poachers Are Hunted as Much as Their Prey," 8 Aug. 2017 The rough exurbs of Cape Town yielded to an amber veld with patches of irrigated green; hills rose and fell. Ted Conover, New York Times, "The History of Southern Africa, by Train," 3 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'veld.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of veld

1785, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for veld

borrowed from Afrikaans veld, going back to Middle Dutch velt "field," going back to Germanic felþa- — more at field entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about veld

Listen to Our Podcast about veld

Statistics for veld

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Veld.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for veld



English Language Learners Definition of veld

: an area of grassy land with few trees or shrubs especially in southern Africa

More from Merriam-Webster on veld

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for veld Encyclopedia article about veld

Comments on veld

What made you want to look up veld? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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