• synonyms


  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.
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Origin of steppe

1665–75; < Russian step' or Ukrainian step; ulterior origin uncertain
Can be confusedstep steppe

Kirghiz Steppe

  1. a steppe in Kazakhstan.
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Also called The Steppes.
Dictionary.com 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

  • I have tried Tibet, China, and the steppes of Siberia—with the same result.

    David and the Phoenix

    Edward Ormondroyd

  • They are also found on the steppes bordering the Caspian and Aral Seas.

  • Suddenly all came to life; the forests, the pools, the steppes.

    High Noon


  • It was a north-easter, laden with dust, and a sense of frozen Siberian steppes.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • Rather than give these up some of them would have sold half the 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
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Kirghiz Steppe

  1. a variant spelling of Kyrgyz Steppe
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  1. (often plural) an extensive grassy plain usually without treesCompare prairie, pampas
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

steppes in Science


  1. A vast, semiarid grassland, as found in southeast Europe, Siberia, and central North America.
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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.

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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.