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[ar-uh-buh l] /ˈær ə bəl/
capable of producing crops; suitable for farming; suited to the plow and for tillage:
arable land; arable soil.
land that can be or is cultivated.
Origin of arable
1375-1425; < Latin arābilis, equivalent to arā(re) to plow + -bilis -ble; replacing late Middle English erable, equivalent to er(en) to plow (Old English erian) + -able -able
Related forms
arability, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for arable
  • About 28% of the land is arable.
  • Farmers also grow vegetables and other produce on land made arable by the oasis water supply and underground streams.
  • Save the arable land for food.
  • Agriculture is limited with only 20% of the land being arable.
  • The dam will increase the amount of land arable all the year round by over one-third.
  • But now they're also giving away their arable land for nearly nothing.
  • If such ancient water can be located in other areas, arid land can readily made arable and fecund.
  • Wars could also come from multi-country desertification, or salt damage of low-lying arable land.
  • Environmental regulations, water scarcities and urban development continue to cut back arable acreage.
  • The increasing population increasingly occupies what was once productive arable land.
British Dictionary definitions for arable


(of land) being or capable of being tilled for the production of crops
of, relating to, or using such land: arable farming
arable land or farming
Word Origin
C15: from Latin arābilis that can be ploughed, from arāre to plough
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for arable

early 15c., "suitable for plowing" (as opposed to pasture- or wood-land), from Old French arable (12c.), from Latin arabilis, from arare "to plow," from PIE *are- "to plow" (cf. Greek aroun, Old Church Slavonic orja, Lithuanian ariu "to plow;" Gothic arjan, Old English erian, Middle Irish airim, Welsh arddu "to plow;" Old Norse arþr "a plow"). Replaced by late 18c. native erable, from Old English erian "to plow," from the same PIE source.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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