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[suh-har-uh, -hair-uh, -hahr-uh] /səˈhær ə, -ˈhɛər ə, -ˈhɑr ə/
a desert in N Africa, extending from the Atlantic to the Nile valley. About 3,500,000 sq. mi. (9,065,000 sq. km).
any arid waste.
Related forms
Saharan, Saharian, adjective
trans-Sahara, adjective
trans-Saharan, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Sahara
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You are as little fitted to cross the desert of Sahara as any one I ever met," she said.

    Dodo's Daughter E. F. Benson
  • But she was like one who traversed a desert under the sea—a vast submerged Sahara.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • This part of the country is rich in historic reminiscences, and poor as Sahara in every thing else.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • He said to me once, “The oneness of two people could make a home in Sahara.”

  • Had it not been for the discoveries of the great copper fields of the Sahara and in Alaska, we wouldn't have any now.

    The Black Star Passes John W Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for Sahara


a desert in N Africa, extending from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and from the Mediterranean to central Mali, Niger, Chad, and the Sudan: the largest desert in the world, occupying over a quarter of Africa; rises to over 3300 m (11 000 ft) in the central mountain system of the Ahaggar and Tibesti massifs; large reserves of iron ore, oil, and natural gas. Area: 9 100 000 sq km (3 500 000 sq miles). Average annual rainfall: less than 254 mm (10 in.). Highest recorded temperature: 58°C (136.4°F)
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 Sahara

1610s, from Arabic çahra "desert" (plural çahara), according to Klein, noun use of fem. of the adjective asharu "yellowish red." Related: Saharan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Sahara in Culture

Sahara definition

Desert in northern Africa.

Note: At approximately 3.5 million square miles, it is the world's largest desert.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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