ar·​te·​ri·​al | \är-ˈtir-ē-əl \

Definition of arterial 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to an artery

b : relating to or being the bright red blood present in most arteries that has been oxygenated in lungs or gills

2 : of, relating to, or constituting through traffic



Definition of arterial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a through street or highway

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Other Words from arterial


arterially \-​ē-​ə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of arterial in a Sentence


one of the main arterials connecting the airport with the city

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Advocates said the undergrounding is needed to improve public safety, particularly on Laguna Canyon Road, the city's main inland arterial route. Bradley Zint,, "Laguna to prepare ballot measure for putting utilities underground along key routes," 23 May 2018 The Johns Hopkins Patients’ Guide to Kidney Cancer describes an arterial embolization as a procedure in which a special spongelike material is placed into an artery that supplies blood to the kidney. New York Times, "Kidney Condition Puts Melania Trump in the Hospital," 14 May 2018 At the time, Saturday’s protest didn’t just cause tempers to flare on the Dan Ryan and arterial roads; battle lines also were drawn in cyberspace as Rauner and Emanuel took to Twitter. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "Father Pfleger waiting for elected officials' response before calling for future protests," 9 July 2018 The council voted Tuesday to reduce speed limits on non-arterial residential streets, which comprise about 70 percent of the city's street grid. Elliot Njus,, "Portland City Council approves 20 mph speed limit on residential streets," 17 Jan. 2018 The bridge, which is 10 feet wide and 150 feet long and situated over a creek, allows for safe pedestrian travel on the south side of this important arterial connector. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Pedestrian bridge, sidewalks enhance safety on Brook Hollow Parkway," 3 July 2018 Get there from here: With its own Expo Line station, easy access to the 10 and 405 freeways, and many arterial streets nearby, Rancho Park makes commuting slightly more convenient. Scott Garner,, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Rancho Park takes its spot in a post-modest world," 8 June 2018 The cause was complications from peripheral arterial disease and renal failure, said a son, Corey Dade. Washington Post, "Paul Stack, Foreign Service officer," 16 May 2018 Weak spots in the arterial wall that can be caused by genetics or high blood pressure or just the forces of flow from the fluid in the pipes. Teddy Greenstein,, "A foremost neurosurgeon on White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar and brain hemorrhages," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Haynes said the Better Naito analysis raises questions about how the city will handle changes to major arterials elsewhere. Andrew Theen,, "PBA still 'concerned' about Better Naito's effect on congestion, calls for more study," 8 Mar. 2018 The site also must have access to an arterial or higher classification road. Colin Campbell,, "Owner appeals decision to reject medical marijuana dispensary near Pasadena," 11 July 2018 Maryland Physician Partners LLC’s bid to open a dispensary at 7609 Energy Parkway in Brandon Woods Business Park was rejected in April because the property did not immediately abut an arterial or higher classified road. Colin Campbell,, "Owner appeals decision to reject medical marijuana dispensary near Pasadena," 11 July 2018 Engineers built its arterials to transport cars, and quickly. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Save Lives With Smarter, Slower Streets—Not Self-Driving Cars," 11 May 2018 Others, however, have called them essential, especially considering the frequency that Laguna Canyon Road — a main arterial thoroughfare — closes because of downed power lines. Bradley Zint,, "Laguna council pushes initiative to place utility lines underground to July 17 so mayor can vote," 10 July 2018 In seeking the variance, New Land also cited the narrow lot's location on a corner that includes a major arterial: South Second Street. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New Land proposes 48-unit apartment building near its Trio Mke project in Walker's Point," 21 June 2018 The new section connects two major arterials and improves the city street-grid providing increased connectivity for both freight and residential traffic. Rosemarie Stein,, "Portland Metro Wednesday Traffic: Intermittent closures on I-84 westbound just east of Corbett," 17 Jan. 2018 Regardless of occasional inserts of green spaces or parks, the orientation of individual lots and the layout of branching arterials and cul-de-sacs often show no environmental consideration or orientation to reap solar or wind benefits. Anthony Alofsin, The Atlantic, "A Defense of the Suburbs," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arterial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arterial


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1920, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for arterial

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for arterial

The first known use of arterial was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for arterial


ar·​te·​ri·​al | \är-ˈtir-ē-əl \

Medical Definition of arterial 

1 : of or relating to an artery

2 : relating to or being the bright red blood present in most arteries that has been oxygenated in lungs or gills — compare venous sense 3

Other Words from arterial

arterially \-​ē-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on arterial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arterial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arterial

Spanish Central: Translation of arterial

Nglish: Translation of arterial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arterial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on arterial

What made you want to look up arterial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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