Definition of transhumance in US English:



  • The action or practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically to lowlands in winter and highlands in summer.

    • ‘The first of a great summer transhumance, they all wore ak-kalpaks or traditional white felt hats, padded coats and knee-length leather boots.’
    • ‘The footpath follows the east shore of the loch to where easy slopes lead to the Lairig Torran, an ancient transhumance route from Dalmally.’
    • ‘The Neolithic peoples began to send their flocks and herds to feed in the lush upland pastures in summer, bringing them down again when winter closed in, a practice known as transhumance.’
    • ‘Briefly, dispossession affected only pastoralists that practiced transhumance.’
    • ‘The Berber peoples include several distinct groups: settled farmers living in the Atlas mountains; transhumance farmers; and the nomadic Tuareg of the Sahara.’
    relocation, resettling, population movement, moving, moving abroad, emigration, expatriation, posting, exodus, departure, hegira, defection, trek, diaspora
    View synonyms


Early 20th century: from French, from the verb transhumer, based on Latin trans- ‘across’ + humus ‘ground’.