[chur-nuh-zem, chair-; Russian chyir-nuh-zyawm]
a soil common in cool or temperate semiarid climates, very black and rich in humus and carbonates.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chernozem or tschernosem (ˈtʃɜːnəʊˌzɛm)
a black soil, rich in humus and carbonates, in cool or temperate semiarid regions, as the grasslands of Russia
[from Russian, contraction of chernaya zemlya black earth]
tschernosem or tschernosem
[from Russian, contraction of chernaya zemlya black earth]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1842, from Rus. chernozem, lit. "black earth," from chernyl "black" + zemlya "earth, soil."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Rye is grown farther north, in the less fertile non-chernozem zone.
Chernozem is very fertile and produces a high agricultural yield.
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