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steppe

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n steppe extensive plain without trees (associated with eastern Russia and Siberia)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Steppe One of the vast plains in Southeastern Europe and in Asia, generally elevated, and free from wood, analogous to many of the prairies in Western North America. See Savanna.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n steppe A more or less level tract devoid of trees: a name given to certain parts of European and Asiatic Russia, of which the most characteristic feature is the absence of forests. The word steppe was introduced into the scientific literature of western Europe by Humboldt, in whose “Ansichten der Natur”—a work widely circulated, and translated into all the most important European languages—there is a chapter entitled “Steppen und Wusten” (Steppes and Deserts). The steppe region in Europe begins on the borders of Holland, and extends through northern Germany—where such lands are called Heiden (heaths)—into Russia in Europe, and beyond the Ural Mountains almost to the Pacific Ocean, for a distance of about 4,500 miles. Although the steppes are in general characterized by the lack of an arboreal and the presence of a grassy vegetation, and by a pretty uniformly level surface, there are many breaks in this botanical and topographical monotony, in the form of forests extending along the streams, large patches of dense and sometimes tall shrubbery, lakes (both fresh and saline), rolling hills, ridges, barren sands, and patches covered with saline efflorescence. The general character of the region is pastoral, and the population (especially of the Asiatic steppes) nomadic: but all this has been to a considerable extent interfered with by the spread of Russian civilization and the domination of Russian authority. The Russian and Siberian steppes pass southward into the deserts of central Asia, and northward into the tundra region of the extreme north. Humboldt, in the work named above, occasionally uses the term steppe in describing the pampas and llanos of South America, and the plains, prairies, and barrens of the northern division of the New World, and his example has been followed to a certain extent by other physical geographers writing in regard to America; but the word steppe is nowhere in popular use except as to places where Russian is the dominating language.
    • n steppe In phytogeography, xerophilous grassland. This formation as met, with at high elevations is distinguished as alpine steppe.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Steppe step one of the vast uncultivated plains in the south-east of Europe and in Asia.
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Russ. stepe, through G. or F. steppe,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Russ. stepe.

Usage

In literature:

So I told the boy to clasp me tightly round the neck, and away we fled together across the steppe.
"The Tower of Dago" by Mór Jókai
North of the Stara Planina the original flora was a continuation of that on the Russian steppe.
"Area Handbook for Bulgaria" by Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
We had left behind us the Yellow River, with its overflowing waters, and entered the sandy steppes of Ortous.
"Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China During the years 1844-5-6. Volume 1 [of 2]" by Evariste Regis Huc
It belongs almost entirely to the region of the South Russian steppes, but in the N., W. and S.W.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 6" by Various
One sighs for the Steppes of Russia.
"The Pictureque Antiquities of Spain;" by Nathaniel Armstrong Wells
The game was enriched by Fairfax's description of Russia and the steppes and the plains.
"Fairfax and His Pride" by Marie Van Vorst
It is far more difficult than to drive four wild horses on the steppes.
"Joseph in the Snow, and The Clockmaker" by Berthold Auerbach
A fauna, to some extent composed of species now inhabiting the steppes of Eastern Europe and Siberia, poured into the neighbouring continent.
"The History of the European Fauna" by R. F. Scharff
These are the steppes I know best.
"Russian Life To-day" by Right Rev. Herbert Bury
There is something awful, as well as sad and gloomy, in the uniform aspect of these steppes.
"With the World's Great Travellers, Volume 2" by Various
Asia, surrounded by steppes and plains; length about 330 miles, area 8500 sq.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 3" by Various
This section is near the northern border of the arid Patagonian steppes.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 5" by Various
You know, my own people were once warriors, Mongols of the steppes.
"The Moghul" by Thomas Hoover
At McCloud they were as hard a crowd after dark as you would find on the steppes.
"Held for Orders" by Frank H. Spearman
The road they had been hitherto travelling, had led over the flat and uninteresting steppe.
"The Circassian Chief" by W.H.G. Kingston
An occasional kurgan rising up here and there in the Steppe is the sole sign that it was once inhabited by a people.
"The Green Book" by Mór Jókai
But the witch, by the Prince's command, was fastened to the tail of a horse and dragged away over the open steppe.
"Russian Fairy Tales" by R. Nisbet Bain
The rearing of live-stock is largely carried on on the steppes.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 3" by Various
A TALE OF THE GREAT SIBERIAN STEPPE.
"A Woman's Burden" by Fergus Hume
The steppes gave way to forests, and red deer took the place of horse and bison.
"A Short History of the World" by H. G. Wells
***

In poetry:

They found the carriage, stepp'd within,
And swiftly drove away;
The lordly towers were far behind
At dawning of the day.
"A Ballad" by Janet Hamilton
And endless battle! We only dream of peace
Through blood and dust…
The mare of steppes flies on and flees,
And tramples the grass…
"On the Field of Kulicovo" by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
Through the Steppes, see there he glances!
Silent flood glad hailed by me,--
Thy far distant sons do proffer
Through me, greeting fond to thee!
"To The Don" by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
The lady blush'd red, but nothing she said:
Nor added the Baron a word:
Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber fair,
And so did her moody lord.
"The Eve of St. John" by Sir Walter Scott
In the darkness and still of a mysterious night
I see a fond and welcoming spark,
From the chorus of spheres, familiar eyes
Shine upon a grave forgotten in the steppe.
"By Life Tormented" by Afanasy Afanasevich Fet
As in a boundless sea in darkening fields and meadows
The sunset's tristful rays fade and then sink from sight,
And in mute twilights wake, over the steppe the shadows
Creep swiftly, bringing night.
"As in a boundless sea in darkening fields and meadows" by Ivan Bunin

In news:

The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig.
Mongolia has the lowest human population density of any country in the world, and the Eastern Steppe has one of the lowest densities in Mongolia.
Patagonia and Southern Andean Steppe, Argentina.
Effingham St Anthony High School graduate John Steppe tallied 27 points but McKendree University fell to Ohio Dominican Sunday 85-77.
Straughn's Dillan Conner (2), Johnny Owens (26) and Nick Stepp (40) bring down Trinity's Steadman Bethea Friday night during the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs at Tigers Stadium.
The sons of the steppe.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp to be at meeting to listen to anglers.
David Samuel Stepp, 20, pleaded no contest Friday to a single count of driving under the influence.
Straughn's Nick Stepp and Opp's Russell Moseley will try and help lead their teams to victory tonight.
CORBIN — By John Stepp / for The Times Tribune.
"I don't feel it will meet the expectations of the Legislature," said DNR secretary Cathy Stepp.
The move comes after Stepp, who says he opposed the policy, asked for advice from the Sandy Valley Conference of Free Will Baptists.
After the big names have grazed the steppe and moved on, a public silence returns.
Palm Springs Hyatt executive Chef Charles Steppe joins us for a lesson on how to make one delicious plate.
"He still shakes occasionally," says Stepp.
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