an extensive plain, especially one without trees.
the vast grasslands, especially those in the S and E European and W and SW Asian parts of Russia.

1665–75; < Russian step' or Ukrainian step; ulterior origin uncertain

step, steppe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
steppe (stɛp)
(often plural) prairie Compare pampas an extensive grassy plain usually without trees
[C17: from Old Russian step lowland]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

vast treeless plain of southeastern Europe and of Asia, 1671, from Rus. *step', of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
steppe   (stěp)  Pronunciation Key 
A vast, semiarid grassland, as found in southeast Europe, Siberia, and central North America.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
When he escaped from prison he was quickly back on the steppe.
His salary has helped make them well-off by steppe standards.
Shrub-steppe early succession following invasive juniper cutting and prescribed fire.
Some areas of degraded shrub-steppe will need to be restored in order to support nesting sage-grouse.
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