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or savannah

[suh-van-uh] /səˈvæn ə/
a plain characterized by coarse grasses and scattered tree growth, especially on the margins of the tropics where the rainfall is seasonal, as in eastern Africa.
grassland region with scattered trees, grading into either open plain or woodland, usually in subtropical or tropical regions.
Origin of savanna
1545-55; earlier zavana < Spanish (now sabana) < Taino zabana Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for savanna
Historical Examples
  • The correct form of the name is probably Chakan peten, the savanna region.

  • It was my first savanna sparrow's nest, whether eastern or western.

    Birds of the Rockies

    Leander Sylvester Keyser
  • I think that Judge Isbell was then president of the savanna company.

    History of Linn County Iowa Luther A. Brewer
  • This sink is situated in a savanna about fifteen miles in length.

  • He may find the savanna sparrow also, which closely resembles the bird he is looking for.

    Riverby John Burroughs
  • None the less, madam, I am a man in the city and in the savanna.

    Woman in Science

    John Augustine Zahm
  • When he returned, savanna said 'Well—now, blessed sir, take me to my dear lady.'

    Adeline Mowbray Amelia Alderson Opie
  • Do you tink, if she be one selfish beast like her husban, savanna love her so dear?

    Adeline Mowbray Amelia Alderson Opie
  • I bequeath them to your care: savanna knows where they are to be found.

    Adeline Mowbray Amelia Alderson Opie
  • A garden in front was shut off from the savanna by a fence of bananas.

British Dictionary definitions for savanna


open grasslands, usually with scattered bushes or trees, characteristic of much of tropical Africa
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish zavana, from Taino zabana
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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savanna in Science
savanna or savannah
A flat, grass-covered area of tropical or subtropical regions, nearly treeless in some places but generally having a mix of widely spaced trees and bushes. Savannas have distinct wet and dry seasons, with the mix of vegetation dependent primarily on the relative length of the two seasons.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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savanna in Culture

savanna definition

A tropical land mass of grassland and scattered trees.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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