veld

noun
\ ˈvelt , ˈfelt \
variants: or veldt

Definition of veld 

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

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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

Early in the play, Piet says of the plants: That veld is a hard world. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "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.

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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

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Time Traveler for veld

The first known use of veld was in 1785

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More Definitions for veld

veld

noun

English Language Learners Definition of veld

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on veld

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for veld

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about veld

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