[fo-sawr-ee-uh l, -sohr-]

adjective Zoology.

digging or burrowing.
adapted for digging, as the hands, feet, and bone structure of moles, armadillos, and aardvarks.

Nearby words

  1. fossil gum,
  2. fossil record,
  3. fossiliferous,
  4. fossilize,
  5. fossor,
  6. fossula,
  7. foster,
  8. foster brother,
  9. foster care,
  10. foster child

Origin of fossorial

1830–40; < Late Latin fossōri(us) adapted to digging (equivalent to Latin fod(ere) to dig + tōrius -tory1, with dt > ss) + -al1

Related formssub·fos·so·ri·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fossorial

British Dictionary definitions for fossorial



(of the forelimbs and skeleton of burrowing animals) adapted for digging
(of burrowing animals, such as the mole and armadillo) having limbs of this type

Word Origin for fossorial

C19: from Medieval Latin fossōrius from Latin fossor digger, from fodere to dig

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