[suh-har-uh, -hair-uh, -hahr-uh]


a desert in N Africa, extending from the Atlantic to the Nile valley. About 3,500,000 sq. mi. (9,065,000 sq. km).
any arid waste.

Related formsSa·har·an, Sa·har·i·an, adjectivetrans-Sa·har·a, adjectivetrans-Sa·har·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sahara

wilderness, solitude, barren, wild, Sahara

Examples from the Web for sahara

Contemporary Examples of sahara

Historical Examples of sahara

  • But she was like one who traversed a desert under the sea—a vast submerged Sahara.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • The ship, out there in the poisonous Sahara, was living proof of their success.

    It's All Yours

    Sam Merwin

  • He said to me once, “The oneness of two people could make a home in Sahara.”

  • That rains so called are only of water colored by sand from the Sahara Desert.

  • With sand from the Sahara, sand from a barrel of sugar, or dust of your great-great-grandfather.

British Dictionary definitions for sahara



a desert in N Africa, extending from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and from the Mediterranean to central Mali, Niger, Chad, and the Sudan: the largest desert in the world, occupying over a quarter of Africa; rises to over 3300 m (11 000 ft) in the central mountain system of the Ahaggar and Tibesti massifs; large reserves of iron ore, oil, and natural gas. Area: 9 100 000 sq km (3 500 000 sq miles). Average annual rainfall: less than 254 mm (10 in.). Highest recorded temperature: 58°C (136.4°F)
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

Word Origin and History for sahara


1610s, from Arabic çahra "desert" (plural çahara), according to Klein, noun use of fem. of the adjective asharu "yellowish red." Related: Saharan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sahara in Culture


Desert in northern Africa.


At approximately 3.5 million square miles, it is the world's largest desert.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.