[suh-heyl, -heel]


the arid area on the S flank of the Sahara desert that stretches across six countries from Senegal to Chad.

Related formsSa·hel·i·an, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sahel

Contemporary Examples of sahel

  • The stronghold in Mali was to be the centerpiece of a larger Qaeda emirate across the Sahel from Mauretania to Nigeria.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Al Qaeda Comeback

    Bruce Riedel

    April 12, 2013

  • The Sahel has been degraded by human use, not natural desertification; the natural process has been the reverse.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Upside to Global Warming

    Stefan Theil

    August 26, 2011

Historical Examples of sahel

  • The children of the Sahel do not injure their guests; I have travelled since morning fasting; hunger will make the fawn brave.

    The Arab's Pledge

    Edward L. Mitford

  • From 1861 onward, Fromentin deserted the Sahara in favour of Sahel, exchanged the consuming heat of summer for a milder sunshine.


    Georges Beaume

  • In a few minutes he was speeding over the Sahel hills in the direction of Frais Vallon.

    The Pirate City

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • In the Sahel, the prevailing east winds drive the sand-ocean with a progressive westward motion.

    Man and Nature

    George P. Marsh

  • The coast plain west of Algiers, the Sahel properly called, is in strong contrast with the cultivated plain of the Mitidja.

Word Origin and History for sahel


from Arabic sahil "sea coast, shore." Originally in reference to the coastal region. Related: Sahelian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper