A steppe is a large geographic area of flat land. A prairie is a kind of steppe. This type of land can be found in both cold and warm environments — from Siberia to Mexico.
A steppe, pronounced like the word step, is not quite dry enough to be a desert but not fertile enough for trees to grow. Think of it as a semi-desert covered in grass and shrubs. The word steppe can also be used to describe the climate in areas that are too dry for a forest, but not quite dry enough to be desert.