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[ahr-bawr-ee-uh l, -bohr-] /ɑrˈbɔr i əl, -ˈboʊr-/
of or relating to trees; treelike.
Also, arboreous. living in or among trees.
Zoology. adapted for living and moving about in trees, as the limbs and skeleton of opossums, squirrels, monkeys, and apes.
Origin of arboreal
1660-70; < Latin arbore(us) of trees (arbor tree + -eus -eous) + -al1
Related forms
arboreally, adverb
subarboreal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for arboreal
  • The orangutan evidence adds a new twist to the debate of arboreal versus terrestrial bipedalism theories.
  • All sight hunters and arboreal creatures that jump from branch to branch have this, since they require stereo vision to survive.
  • The trails will take you through mossy forests to stunning, venerable arboreal giants.
  • The orangutan is the only strictly arboreal ape and the largest tree living mammal in the world.
  • Candidates for the display trees are not chosen for height alone but are judged for overall arboreal beauty.
  • The arboreal species has one of the longest intervals between births among mammals, typically around eight years.
  • The frogs' lifestyle is so thoroughly arboreal that, instead of laying eggs in water, the frogs deposit their eggs in trees.
  • It arrived in the fall and stayed until early spring as it was a northern arboreal species.
  • Most researchers conclude that pterosaurs descended from a small arboreal reptile that spent its life jumping between branches.
  • These days, though, more and more adults are rediscovering the joys of arboreal hideaways.
British Dictionary definitions for arboreal


of, relating to, or resembling a tree
living in or among trees: arboreal monkeys
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 arboreal

1660s, from Latin arboreus "pertaining to trees," from arbor "tree," of unknown origin, + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arboreal in Science
Relating to or living in trees.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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