an extensive plain, especially one without trees.
The Steppes,
  1. the vast grasslands, especially those in the S and E European and W and SW Asian parts of Russia.
  2. Kirghiz Steppe.

Origin of steppe

1665–75; < Russian step' or Ukrainian step; ulterior origin uncertain
Can be confusedstep steppe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for steppe

grassland, prairie, savanna, plain

Examples from the Web for steppe

Historical Examples of steppe

  • Returning home, I mounted on horseback and galloped to the steppe.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • For they multiply like lice, and are as poisonous as the snakes that crawl in the steppe of Muhan.

    Life of Schamyl

    John Milton Mackie

  • He wished to employ them in training and enlightening the rude tribes of the steppe.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin

  • The transition from the boulevards to the steppe was most refreshing.

    High Noon


  • I thought you all lay stiff on the steppe, by Ilbars River.'

    Shadows in the Moonlight

    Robert E. Howard

British Dictionary definitions for steppe



(often plural) an extensive grassy plain usually without treesCompare prairie, pampas

Word Origin for steppe

C17: from Old Russian step lowland
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 steppe

vast treeless plain of southeastern Europe and of Asia, 1670s, from Russian *step', of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

steppe in Science



A vast, semiarid grassland, as found in southeast Europe, Siberia, and central North America.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.