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chernozem

[chur-nuh-zem, chair-; Russian chyir-nuh-zyawm] /ˈtʃɜr nəˌzɛm, ˈtʃɛər-; Russian tʃyɪr nʌˈzyɔm/
noun
1.
a soil common in cool or temperate semiarid climates, very black and rich in humus and carbonates.
Origin of chernozem
1835-1845
1835-45; < Russian chernozëm, equivalent to chërn() black + -o- -o- + -zëm, variant, in compounds, of zemlyá earth, land; see humus
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chernozem
Historical Examples
  • chernozem soils predominate, and the seasonal distribution of rainfall is more propitious than in Walachia.

    Area Handbook for Romania Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • This is the black earth known as chernozem, which is rich in humus.

    Area Handbook for Romania Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • About 20 percent of the agricultural land is of the chernozem type.

    Area Handbook for Romania Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
British Dictionary definitions for chernozem

chernozem

/ˈtʃɜːnəʊˌzɛm/
noun
1.
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chernozem
n.

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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