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[ahr-bawr-ee-uh l, -bohr-] /ɑrˈbɔr i əl, -ˈboʊr-/
of or relating to trees; treelike.
Also, arboreous. living in or among trees.
Zoology. adapted for living and moving about in trees, as the limbs and skeleton of opossums, squirrels, monkeys, and apes.
Origin of arboreal
1660-70; < Latin arbore(us) of trees (arbor tree + -eus -eous) + -al1
Related forms
arboreally, adverb
subarboreal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for arboreal
Historical Examples
  • An arboreal animal which makes itself at home in genealogical trees.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • Heredity again, for the snake was the worst enemy of arboreal man.

    Danger! and Other Stories Arthur Conan Doyle
  • As was stated above, all arboreal gregarious birds have this habit.

  • This arboreal device was not by any means a new one to the men of Massachusetts.

    The Flags of the World

    F. Edward Hulme
  • To be arboreal, the animal must sleep in trees or on a perch, but the chimpanzee cannot do so.

    Gorillas & Chimpanzees R. L. Garner
  • What crime did our arboreal ancestors commit that we must so suffer and atone for it?

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • It lives on the ground, but all the other species of this singular genus are arboreal.

    The Desert World Arthur Mangin
  • They are gregarious, and most of them arboreal, though some are not so.

  • The mountain on which I stood was covered with trees woven into arboreal palaces.

    Lumen Camille Flammarion
  • Most of them are terrestrial, some arboreal, and some aquatic.

British Dictionary definitions for arboreal


of, relating to, or resembling a tree
living in or among trees: arboreal monkeys
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 arboreal

1660s, from Latin arboreus "pertaining to trees," from arbor "tree," of unknown origin, + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arboreal in Science
Relating to or living in trees.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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