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arbor vitae

[ahr-ber vahy-tee]
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noun Anatomy.
  1. a treelike appearance in a vertical section of the cerebellum, due to the arrangement of the white and gray nerve tissues.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arbor vitae

Historical Examples

  • The lumber resembles that of arbor-vitae, and is used for the same purposes.

    Trees Worth Knowing

    Julia Ellen Rogers

  • The arbor-vitae is found in northeastern and northwestern America, China, and Japan.

    Studies of Trees

    Jacob Joshua Levison

  • At the entrance to the grounds an incense-cedar on one side and an arbor-vitae on the other stand dignified guard.

    A Backward Glance at Eighty

    Charles A. Murdock

  • The Western arbor-vitae 24 (Thuja gigantea) grows to a size truly gigantic on low rich ground.

    Steep Trails

    John Muir

  • From a covert of arbor-vitae they looked directly up the creek and through the archway.

    Prisoners of Hope

    Mary Johnston


British Dictionary definitions for arbor vitae

arbor vitae

noun
  1. any of several Asian and North American evergreen coniferous trees of the genera Thuja and Thujopsis, esp Thuja occidentalis, having tiny scalelike leaves and egglike conesSee also red cedar
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Word Origin

C17: from New Latin, literally: tree of life
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 vitae

n.

type of evergreen shrub, 1660s, name given by French physician and botanist Charles de Lécluse (1525-1609), Latin, literally "tree of life." Also used in late 18c. rogue's slang as a cant word for "penis."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper