[ahr-teer-ee-uh l]
  1. Physiology. pertaining to the blood in the pulmonary vein, in the left side of the heart, and in most arteries, having been oxygenated during its passage through the lungs and being normally bright red.
  2. Anatomy. of, relating to, or resembling the arteries.
  3. being or constituting a main route, channel, or other course of flow or access, often with many branches: an arterial highway; an arterial drainage system.
  1. a main route, channel, or other course of flow or access: funds to resurface the main arterials of the city.

Origin of arterial

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin artēriālis. See artery, -al1
Related formsar·te·ri·al·ly, adverbnon·ar·te·ri·al, adjectivepost·ar·te·ri·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for arterial


  1. of, relating to, or affecting an artery or arteriesarterial disease
  2. denoting or relating to the usually bright red reoxygenated blood returning from the lungs or gills that circulates in the arteries
  3. being a major route, esp one with many minor branchesan arterial road
Derived Formsarterially, adverb
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 arterial

early 15c., from French artérial (Modern French artériel), from Latin arteria; see artery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

arterial in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to one or more arteries or to the entire system of arteries.
  2. Of, relating to, or being the bright red oxygenated blood in the arteries.
Related formsar•teri•al•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

arterial in Science


  1. Any of the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body's cells, tissues, and organs. Arteries are flexible, elastic tubes with muscular walls that expand and contract to pump blood through the body.
Related formsarterial adjective (är-tîrē-əl)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.