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[ahr-ber] /ˈɑr bər/
a leafy, shady recess formed by tree branches, shrubs, etc.
a latticework bower intertwined with climbing vines and flowers.
Obsolete. a grass plot; lawn; garden; orchard.
Also, especially British, arbour.
Origin of arbor1
1350-1400; Middle English (h)erber < Anglo-French, Old French (h)erbier herbarium; respelling with -or under the influence of arbor3


[ahr-ber] /ˈɑr bər/
  1. a bar, shaft, or axis that holds, turns, or supports a rotating cutting tool or grinding wheel, often having a tapered shank fitting tightly into the spindle of a machine tool.
    Compare mandrel.
  2. a beam, shaft, axle, or spindle.
Metallurgy. a reinforcing member of a core or mold.
1650-60; respelling, by association with arbor3, of earlier arber, arbre < French, Old French < Latin arbor wooden beam or part in an olive press, tree


[ahr-ber] /ˈɑr bər/
noun, plural arbores
[ahr-buh-reez] /ˈɑr bəˌriz/ (Show IPA).
a tree.
1660-70; < New Latin, Latin: tree.
Related forms
arboresque, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for arbor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is easy to remember that lignum vitae is one of the hardest woods and arbor vitae one of the softest.

    Outdoor Sports and Games Claude H. Miller
  • At length he decided on having a fountain, a grotto, and an arbor.

    The Conspirators Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • Later the tops of these posts are connected by cross-bars and an arbor is thus formed.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • It was built of saplings, and at the place previously occupied by the arbor.

    The Choctaw Freedmen Robert Elliott Flickinger
  • The blank cutter is placed at an angle to an arbor axis, and is cut to shape by the tool.

  • Into the arbor they pushed the two coaches, and then dropped, laughing, on the seats.

    Marjorie's Busy Days Carolyn Wells
  • Coming to the arbor she slowed down for a step or two, arrested by the recollection of her last meeting with Lanstron.

    The Last Shot Frederick Palmer
British Dictionary definitions for arbor


the US spelling of arbour


a rotating shaft in a machine or power tool on which a milling cutter or grinding wheel is fitted
a rotating shaft or mandrel on which a workpiece is fitted for machining
(metallurgy) a part, piece, or structure used to reinforce the core of a mould
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: tree, mast
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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Word Origin and History for arbor

c.1300, herber, "herb garden," from Old French erbier "field, meadow; kitchen garden," from Latin herba "grass, herb" (see herb). Later "a grassy plot" (early 14c., a sense also in Old French), "a shaded nook" (mid-14c.). Probably not from Latin arbor "tree," though perhaps influenced by its spelling.

The change from er- to ar- before consonants in Middle English also reflects a pronunciation shift: cf. farm from ferme, harbor from Old English herebeorg.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arbor in Medicine

arbor ar·bor (är'bər)
n. pl. ar·bo·res (är'bə-rēz')
A treelike anatomical structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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