• synonyms


[ahr-bawr-ee-uh l, -bohr-]
See more synonyms for arboreal on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to trees; treelike.
  2. Also arboreous. living in or among trees.
  3. Zoology. adapted for living and moving about in trees, as the limbs and skeleton of opossums, squirrels, monkeys, and apes.
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Origin of arboreal

1660–70; < Latin arbore(us) of trees (arbor tree + -eus -eous) + -al1
Related formsar·bo·re·al·ly, adverbsub·ar·bo·re·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arboreal

Historical Examples of arboreal

  • An arboreal animal which makes itself at home in genealogical trees.

    The Devil's Dictionary

    Ambrose Bierce

  • Heredity again, for the snake was the worst enemy of arboreal man.

    Danger! and Other Stories

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • As was stated above, all arboreal gregarious birds have this habit.

  • This arboreal device was not by any means a new one to the men of Massachusetts.

    The Flags of the World

    F. Edward Hulme

  • To be arboreal, the animal must sleep in trees or on a perch, but the chimpanzee cannot do so.

British Dictionary definitions for arboreal


  1. of, relating to, or resembling a tree
  2. living in or among treesarboreal monkeys
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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 arboreal


1660s, from Latin arboreus "pertaining to trees," from arbor "tree," of unknown origin, + -al (1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

arboreal in Science


  1. Relating to or living in trees.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.