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[ar-uh-bis] /ˈær ə bɪs/
any plant of the genus Arabis, including the rock cresses.
Origin of arabis
1570-80; < New Latin < Greek árabis (stem arabid-) Arabian mustard (derivative with arab-, as in Arabía Arabia, Áraps Arab, etc.); probably applied to the plant because it grows in rocky or sandy soil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for arabis
Historical Examples
  • The arabis is easily propagated by slips or rootlets, which should be taken after flowering.

  • A double daffodil looks horribly out of place, while the double white rock cress (arabis albida) will pass.

    Making A Rock Garden Henry Sherman Adams
  • Where the soil became more loamy, arabis petra again came in.

    Across Iceland William Bisiker
  • There are many kinds of arabis, widely distributed, with small, white or purplish flowers.

  • The caterpillar feeds on Sisymbrium, arabis, Cardamine, and other cruciferous plants.

    The Butterfly Book William Jacob Holland
  • It was tolerated rather than cultivated, as was its companion, the arabis or Rock Cress—both crowding, monopolizing creatures.

    Old-Time Gardens Alice Morse Earle
  • arabis alpina ; Aubrietia purpurea ; Alyssum saxatile : all three very easy to grow, and very common.

  • In northern Indiana he found this butterfly abundant in April at the time of the blossoming of arabis lyrata.

    Butterflies Worth Knowing Clarence M. Weed
  • The flowers of arabis have white petals with the centre yellowish green, as is also the calyx.

    Butterflies Worth Knowing Clarence M. Weed
  • An interesting rock-cress is found in the arabis Depauperata, which here shows the results of its fierce struggles for existence.

    The Lake of the Sky George Wharton James
British Dictionary definitions for arabis


any plant of the annual or perennial genus Arabis, some of which form low-growing mats with downy grey foliage and white flowers: family Brassicaceae (crucifers) Also called rock cress
Word Origin
New Latin, from Greek arabis (fem) of Arabia
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
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