any plant of the genus Arabis, including the rock cresses.

Origin of arabis

1570–80; < New Latin < Greek árabis (stem arabid-) Arabian mustard (derivative with arab-, as in Arabía Arabia, Áraps Arab, etc.); probably applied to the plant because it grows in rocky or sandy soil Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arabis

Historical Examples of arabis

  • A double daffodil looks horribly out of place, while the double white rock cress (Arabis albida) will pass.

    Making A Rock Garden

    Henry Sherman Adams

  • There are many kinds of Arabis, widely distributed, with small, white or purplish flowers.

  • The Arabis is easily propagated by slips or rootlets, which should be taken after flowering.

  • It was tolerated rather than cultivated, as was its companion, the Arabis or Rock Cress—both crowding, monopolizing creatures.

    Old-Time Gardens

    Alice Morse Earle

  • Where the soil became more loamy, Arabis petra again came in.

    Across Iceland

    William Bisiker

British Dictionary definitions for arabis



any plant of the annual or perennial genus Arabis, some of which form low-growing mats with downy grey foliage and white flowers: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)Also called: rock cress

Word Origin for arabis

New Latin, from Greek arabis (fem) of Arabia
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