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[bawr-ee-uh l, bohr‐] /ˈbɔr i əl, ˈboʊr‐/
of or relating to the north wind.
of or relating to the north.
(sometimes initial capital letter) pertaining to Boreas.
Origin of boreal
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English boriall < Late Latin boreālis northern (Latin bore(ās) Boreas + -ālis -al1) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for boreal
Historical Examples
  • It blew him as a blade of grass is blown in a boreal blast; yet he sensed the pitch.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • This corner was precisely the boreal lands and seas of North America.

  • The snows of boreal affection did not wither or fade his eternal spring.

    In Our Town William Allen White
  • I had begun to observe this as I approached the boreal center.

    My Attainment of the Pole Frederick A. Cook
  • Something must be done to lift the soul out of the boreal bleach.

    My Attainment of the Pole Frederick A. Cook
  • Thus in these dimples of nature rocks the cradle of boreal life.

    My Attainment of the Pole Frederick A. Cook
  • Resident in the boreal zones, and fairly common in migration.

  • The boreal summer is short and if broods are to be raised there is no time to waste.

    The New North Agnes Deans Cameron
  • No thunderstrokes: the lightning of boreal storms is silent.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • However, I stopped the boreal in time, and later on lowered the kayak, and boarded the other.

    The Purple Cloud M.P. Shiel
British Dictionary definitions for boreal


of or relating to the north or the north wind
Word Origin
C15: from Latin boreās the north wind


of or denoting the coniferous forests in the north of the N hemisphere
designating a climatic zone having snowy winters and short summers
designating a dry climatic period from about 7500 to 5500 bc, characterized by cold winters, warm summers, and a flora dominated by pines and hazels
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 boreal

"northern," late 15c., from Latin borealis, from boreas "north wind," from Greek Boreas, name of the god of the north wind, of unknown origin, perhaps related to words in Balto-Slavic for "mountain" and "forest."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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boreal in Science
  1. Relating to the north or to northern areas.

  2. Relating to the north wind.

  3. Relating to the forest areas of the Northern Temperate Zone that are dominated by coniferous trees such as spruce, fir, and pine.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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