or sa·van·nah



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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for savanna

Historical Examples of savanna

  • 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.

  • 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.


    John Burroughs

British Dictionary definitions for savanna




open grasslands, usually with scattered bushes or trees, characteristic of much of tropical Africa

Word Origin for savanna

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

Science definitions for savanna


savannah (sə-vănə)

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for savanna


A tropical land mass of grassland and scattered trees.

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.