ar·​te·​ri·​al | \ är-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce arterial (audio) \

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

Other Words from arterial


arterially \ är-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce arterial (audio) \ adverb

Examples of arterial in a Sentence

Noun one of the main arterials connecting the airport with the city
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Besides routing traffic around downtown, the Crosstown would have given trucks from the industrial belt on the West and Southwest Sides direct access to the regional expressway network without having to use arterial streets or the downtown route. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 13 May 2022 Portions of the latter arterial experience lane reductions because of construction, exacerbating congestion. Ricardo Cano, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Feb. 2022 Join Vicky Newman to learn more about dietary choices that help calcium stay in our bones and out of our blood vessels to support both bone strength and arterial flexibility. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Feb. 2022 After the cloud bursts, a crackling web of lacy, arterial threads spread throughout the sky. Deborah Vankin Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2022 He was diagnosed with three femoral arterial blood clots, which were cutting off blood flow to his left foot. Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2022 Sanders was diagnosed with three femoral arterial blood clots, which doctors categorized as life-threatening. Mark Heim |, al, 8 Mar. 2022 Car culture burns bright in Los Angeles, where the arterial network of roadways links an endless sprawl of diverse neighborhoods. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 27 Feb. 2022 In Hyannis, teams of snowplows are moving up and down arterial roads like Highway 6 and Iyannough Road where there are a string of hotels., 29 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The existing street is already classified as an arterial. Nwa Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, 17 Feb. 2022 Two men were struck and killed while walking across the same stretch of Northeast 82nd Avenue in April, a sobering reminder that the east Portland arterial remains one of the most dangerous roads in the Portland metro area. oregonlive, 1 May 2021 The bulk of pedestrian deaths nationally, 59%, occurred on major arterials — in the Portland region, that’s streets like 82nd Avenue, Tualatin Valley Highway or McLoughlin Boulevard. oregonlive, 27 Feb. 2020 The proposed speed limits are: 40 mph on arterials where there are low bicycle and pedestrian activity. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, 20 Nov. 2019 NETs can also worsen arterial plaques by promoting inflammation, cell biologist Venizelos Papayannopoulos of the Francis Crick Institute in London and colleagues found in 2015. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, 5 Mar. 2020 Outer Division, the wide arterial broadly from 82nd Avenue east to Gresham city limit, will see particular changes. oregonlive, 24 Jan. 2020 The video shows Kidd riding over one of the street’s speed bumps, infrastructure designed to slow down cars and to dissuade drivers who typically use neighborhood streets to get around busier arterials. Andrew Theen | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 13 Dec. 2019 The noninvasive procedure, called reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry, measures blood flow to the fingers during blood pressure inflation and release. Mayo Clinic News Network,, 1 Nov. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of arterial


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


1920, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arterial


Middle English, borrowed from Middle French and Medieval Latin; Middle French arterial, borrowed from Medieval Latin artēriālis, from Latin artēria — more at artery + -ālis -al entry 1


noun derivative of arterial entry 1

Learn More About arterial

Time Traveler for arterial

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near arterial



arterial bulb

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for arterial

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Arterial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for arterial


ar·​te·​ri·​al | \ är-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce arterial (audio) \

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 How to pronounce arterial (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on arterial

Nglish: Translation of arterial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arterial for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!