or Kar·roo

[ kuh-roo ]
/ kəˈru /
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noun, plural ka·roos for 2.

a vast plateau in the Republic of South Africa, in Cape of Good Hope province. 100,000 square miles (260,000 square kilometers); 3000–4000 feet (900–1200 meters) above sea level.
(lowercase) an arid South African tableland with red clay soil.



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Origin of Karoo

First recorded in 1785–90; from Afrikaans kar(r)oo, from Khoikhoi; compare Xhaeruh, Phaeruh placename recorded in 1689, Nama garo “parched, dry, arid,” !garo-b “desolate waste”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for Karoo

British Dictionary definitions for Karoo



/ (kəˈruː) /

noun plural -roos (often not capital)

any of several high arid plateaus in South Africa, esp the Central Karoo and the Little Karoo. The highveld, north of the Central Karoo, is sometimes called the Northern Karoo
a period or rock system in Southern Africa equivalent to the period or system extending from the Upper Carboniferous to the Lower Jurassic: divided into Lower and Upper Karoo


of, denoting, or formed in the Karoo period

Word Origin for Karoo

C18: from Afrikaans karo, probably from Khoikhoi garo desert
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

Scientific definitions for Karoo


A semiarid plateau. The most well-known karoos cover nearly 400,000 sq km (156,000 sq mi) of southern Africa. Karoos are terrace shaped and characterized by low scrub vegetation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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