• synonyms


[uh-roh-buh; Spanish and Portuguese ahr-raw-bah]
noun, plural ar·ro·bas [uh-roh-buh z; Spanish and Portuguese ahr-raw-bahs] /əˈroʊ bəz; Spanish and Portuguese ɑrˈrɔ bɑs/.
  1. a Spanish and Portuguese unit of weight of varying value, equal to 25.37 pounds avoirdupois (9.5 kilograms) in Mexico and to 32.38 pounds avoirdupois (12 kilograms) in Brazil.
  2. a unit of liquid measure of varying value, used especially in Spain and commonly equal (when used for wine) to 4.26 U.S. gallons (16.1 liters).
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Origin of arroba

1590–1600; < Spanish < Arabic al rubʿ the fourth part, i.e., a quarter of the qintār; see quintal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arroba

Historical Examples of arroba

  • A measure for liquids, the eighth of an arroba, equal to about half a gallon.

    The Bible in Spain - Vol. 2 [of 2]

    George Borrow

  • Pico is equivalent to one quintal, but has one arroba more than ours.

  • Measures: Measures of one arroba, half-arroba, azumbre and quartillo.

  • They are three days taking it, eating nothing in the time, and daily each one drinks an arroba and a half.

  • This native corn cost the Crown 7½ reales per arroba (25 pounds) and an arroba lasted the average Indian only 10 days.

British Dictionary definitions for arroba


noun plural -bas
  1. a unit of weight, approximately equal to 11 kilograms, used in some Spanish-speaking countries
  2. a unit of weight, approximately equal to 15 kilograms, used in some Portuguese-speaking countries
  3. a liquid measure used in some Spanish-speaking countries with different values, but in Spain used as a wine-measure, approximately equal to 16 litres
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Word Origin for arroba

C16: from Spanish, from Arabic ar-rub` the quarter (of a quintal)
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