1. an extensive plain, especially one without trees.
  2. 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

Kirghiz Steppe

  1. a steppe in Kazakhstan.
Also called The Steppes. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for steppes

grassland, prairie, savanna, plain

Examples from the Web for steppes

Historical Examples of steppes

British Dictionary definitions for steppes


pl n the Steppes
  1. the huge grasslands of Eurasia, chiefly in Ukraine and Russia
  2. another name for Kyrgyz Steppe

Kirghiz Steppe

  1. a variant spelling of Kyrgyz Steppe


  1. (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 steppes



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

steppes in Science


  1. 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.

steppes in Culture



Vast grassy plains associated with eastern Russia and Siberia.

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.