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[chur-nuh-zem, chair-; Russian chyir-nuh-zyawm] /ˈtʃɜr nəˌzɛm, ˈtʃɛər-; Russian tʃyɪr nʌˈzyɔm/
a soil common in cool or temperate semiarid climates, very black and rich in humus and carbonates.
Origin of chernozem
1835-45; < Russian chernozëm, equivalent to chërn() black + -o- -o- + -zëm, variant, in compounds, of zemlyá earth, land; see humus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chernozem
  • Rye is grown farther north, in the less fertile non-chernozem zone.
  • chernozem is very fertile and produces a high agricultural yield.
British Dictionary definitions for chernozem


a black soil, rich in humus and carbonates, in cool or temperate semiarid regions, as the grasslands of Russia
Word Origin
from Russian, contraction of chernaya zemlya black earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for chernozem

1842, from Russian chernozem, literally "black earth," from chernyi "black," from PIE *kers- "dark, dirty" (see Krishna) + zemlya "earth, soil," from Old Russian zemi "land, earth," from PIE *dhghem- "earth" (see chthonic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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