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[bawr-ee-uh l, bohr‐] /ˈbɔr i əl, ˈboʊr‐/
of or relating to the north wind.
of or relating to the north.
(sometimes initial capital letter) pertaining to Boreas.
Origin of boreal
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English boriall < Late Latin boreālis northern (Latin bore(ās) Boreas + -ālis -al1) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for boreal
  • The northern boreal forest is certainly not as diverse as the tropics.
  • They can be thousands of times bigger than boreal bergs, closer to the size of a small state than a large ocean liner.
  • The tundra wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf, and is found in the boreal forests of the world.
  • There are several trails at the park entrance, weaving through the boreal forest around small lakes.
  • Southeastern birds are smaller and slightly grayer below than boreal and northeastern birds.
  • Its gentler slopes are upholstered in boreal greens.
  • Breeding: mainly boreal forests, a few in mixed or deciduous forests and conifer plantations.
  • Breeding: stunted boreal bogs and in open country near tree line, especially in willows and alders.
  • The park spans a slender transition zone between the northern boreal forest and the southern aspen parkland.
  • Most of the trees in the boreal include conifers along with some white birch and aspen.
British Dictionary definitions for boreal


of or relating to the north or the north wind
Word Origin
C15: from Latin boreās the north wind


of or denoting the coniferous forests in the north of the N hemisphere
designating a climatic zone having snowy winters and short summers
designating a dry climatic period from about 7500 to 5500 bc, characterized by cold winters, warm summers, and a flora dominated by pines and hazels
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 boreal

"northern," late 15c., from Latin borealis, from boreas "north wind," from Greek Boreas, name of the god of the north wind, of unknown origin, perhaps related to words in Balto-Slavic for "mountain" and "forest."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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boreal in Science
  1. Relating to the north or to northern areas.

  2. Relating to the north wind.

  3. Relating to the forest areas of the Northern Temperate Zone that are dominated by coniferous trees such as spruce, fir, and pine.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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