• synonyms


See more synonyms for arbor on Thesaurus.com
  1. a leafy, shady recess formed by tree branches, shrubs, etc.
  2. a latticework bower intertwined with climbing vines and flowers.
  3. Obsolete. a grass plot; lawn; garden; orchard.
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Also especially British, ar·bour.

Origin of arbor1

1350–1400; Middle English (h)erber < Anglo-French, Old French (h)erbier herbarium; respelling with -or under the influence of arbor3


  1. Machinery.
    1. a bar, shaft, or axis that holds, turns, or supports a rotating cutting tool or grinding wheel, often having a tapered shank fitting tightly into the spindle of a machine tool.Compare mandrel.
    2. a beam, shaft, axle, or spindle.
  2. Metallurgy. a reinforcing member of a core or mold.
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Origin of arbor2

1650–60; respelling, by association with arbor3, of earlier arber, arbre < French, Old French < Latin arbor wooden beam or part in an olive press, tree


noun, plural ar·bo·res [ahr-buh-reez] /ˈɑr bəˌriz/. Botany.
  1. a tree.
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Origin of arbor3

1660–70; < New Latin, Latin: tree.
Related formsar·bo·resque, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arbor

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • As they drew near the arbor they heard Bradley say: "This was my dream, Dorothy."

  • Then he waved his hand towards the long seat that stood at the back of the arbor.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Got it hung on the lattice in my arbor in the garden down home in Maryland.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • He might have won two planets, but he had turned his Eden into an arbor of deadly nightshade.

    It's All Yours

    Sam Merwin

  • From close by, within the arbor, came the sound of faint whispering.

British Dictionary definitions for arbor


  1. the US spelling of arbour
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  1. a rotating shaft in a machine or power tool on which a milling cutter or grinding wheel is fitted
  2. a rotating shaft or mandrel on which a workpiece is fitted for machining
  3. metallurgy a part, piece, or structure used to reinforce the core of a mould
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin: tree, mast
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 arbor


c.1300, herber, "herb garden," from Old French erbier "field, meadow; kitchen garden," from Latin herba "grass, herb" (see herb). Later "a grassy plot" (early 14c., a sense also in Old French), "a shaded nook" (mid-14c.). Probably not from Latin arbor "tree," though perhaps influenced by its spelling.

The change from er- to ar- before consonants in Middle English also reflects a pronunciation shift: cf. farm from ferme, harbor from Old English herebeorg.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

arbor in Medicine


n. pl. ar•bo•res (ärbə-rēz′)
  1. A treelike anatomical structure.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.