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[ar-uh-buh l]
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  1. capable of producing crops; suitable for farming; suited to the plow and for tillage: arable land; arable soil.
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  1. land that can be or is cultivated.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for arable


  1. (of land) being or capable of being tilled for the production of crops
  2. of, relating to, or using such landarable farming
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  1. arable land or farming
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Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper