American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A flat grassland of tropical or subtropical regions.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plain or extensive flat area covered with a sheet of snow or ice: so first used, with the accent on the first syllable, by Spanish writers.
- n. A treeless plain: so first used in reference to American topography by Oviedo (1535), with the accent on the second syllable. Used in modern times in Spain, with the accent changed to the second syllable (sabána), and defined in various dictionaries (1865-82) as meaning an “extensive treeless plain,” and generally with the additional statement that it is “a word much used in America.” This word was frequently used by English writers on various parts of America, in the form savanna and savannah, as early as 1699, and always with the meaning of “treeless region.” It is still used occasionally with that meaning, and as being more or less nearly the equivalent of prairie, steppe, or plain, by writers in English on physical geography. As a word in popular use, it is hardly known among English-speaking people, except in the southern Atlantic States, and chiefly in Florida.
- n. In phytogeography See grass-land.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A tract of level land covered with the vegetable growth usually found in a damp soil and warm climate, -- as grass or reeds, -- but destitute of trees.
- n. a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions
- From Spanish sabana, from Taino. (Wiktionary)
- Obsolete Spanish çavana, from Taino zabana. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The savanna is broken by gallery forests which extend up mountainside ravines between 1,000 m and 1,600 m.”
“The unique high altitude grassland or montane savanna is dominated by Loudetia kagerensis on the summits.”
“The piedmont savanna is patchy, varying according to its degree of laterization and pan-development; in places it is marshy overlying rock pavement.”
“The savanna is burned frequently to maintain pasturage for grazing and to keep the land open for hunting.”
“A slim, graceful monkey, with long arms and legs, and a fairly flat face, the vervet is sometimes known as a savanna monkey, since it spends most of its time on or near the savanna.”
“South of the Cuanza River, the Zambezian component of the ecoregion comprises a mosaic of closed woodlands, grasslands and palm savanna, which is found along the lower and drier slopes of the escarpment and along the coast.”
“Vegetation in the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas and shrublands biome (also called savanna) consists of a cover of perennial grass species 1 to 2 meters (3 to 6 feet) tall with scattered drought-resistant trees that generally do not exceed 10 meters (32 feet) in height.”
“The whole of the savanna was a miry and quaking bog, until the partial draining operations of the State, effected a year ago, [in 1855.]”
“We next crossed a wet savanna, which is the beginning of a region still lower than we had traversed; here we crossed a rapid rivulet of exceeding cool, pleasant water, where we halted to refresh ourselves.”
Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws; Containing An Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of Those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians.
“I shall not soon forget the shining vistas through which we rode that day, nor the meadows which possessed all the allurement and mystery which the word "savanna" has always had with me.”
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