[ ar-uh-buh l ]
/ ˈær ə bəl /


capable of producing crops; suitable for farming; suited to the plow and for tillage: arable land; arable soil.


land that can be or is cultivated.


Nearby words

  1. arabinose,
  2. arabinoside,
  3. arabis,
  4. arabist,
  5. arabize,
  6. arabs,
  7. araby,
  8. aracaju,
  9. aracajú,
  10. aracari

Origin of arable

1375–1425; < Latin arābilis, equivalent to arā(re) to plow + -bilis -ble; replacing late Middle English erable, equivalent to er(en) to plow (Old English erian) + -able -able

Related formsar·a·bil·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arable

British Dictionary definitions for arable


/ (ˈærəbəl) /


(of land) being or capable of being tilled for the production of crops
of, relating to, or using such landarable farming


arable land or farming

Word Origin for arable

C15: from Latin arābilis that can be ploughed, from arāre to plough

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

Word Origin and History for arable



early 15c., "suitable for plowing" (as opposed to pasture- or wood-land), from Old French arable (12c.), from Latin arabilis, from arare "to plow," from PIE *are- "to plow" (cf. Greek aroun, Old Church Slavonic orja, Lithuanian ariu "to plow;" Gothic arjan, Old English erian, Middle Irish airim, Welsh arddu "to plow;" Old Norse arþr "a plow"). Replaced by late 18c. native erable, from Old English erian "to plow," from the same PIE source.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper