- 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.
- a group of languages spoken in parts of Chad and adjacent countries, now generally regarded as forming a branch of the Nilo-Saharan family
- relating to or belonging to this group of languages
- of or relating to the 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)
1610s, from Arabic çahra “desert” (plural çahara), according to Klein, noun use of fem. of the adjective asharu “yellowish red.” Related: Saharan. Desert in northern Africa.