bo·​re·​al ˈbȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce boreal (audio)
: of, relating to, or located in northern regions
boreal waters
: of, relating to, or comprising the northern biotic area characterized especially by dominance of coniferous forests

Examples of boreal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their habitat ranges from tundra and boreal forests to deserts. Detroit Free Press, 3 Apr. 2024 High above the boreal forest, solitary sentinels survey dramatic and awe-inspiring landscapes as a critical first line of defense in wildfire detection. Jennie Punter, Variety, 26 Mar. 2024 In the beautifully sparse Brooks Range in the Arctic, boreal forests are advancing northward and up mountains. Matt Simon, WIRED, 4 Mar. 2024 Frequently Asked Questions About Reindeer Reindeer, scientifically known as Rangifer tarandus, are a species of deer native to Arctic, sub-Arctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 12 Dec. 2023 Skies in the northeastern United States turned orange, hazy, and hazardous as the result of more than 400 infernos in Canada’s vast boreal forests in early June. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 22 Dec. 2023 Canada holds a third of the world’s boreal forests, a quarter of the world’s wetlands, and a fifth of the world’s fresh water, says Valérie Courtois, executive director of the Indigenous Leadership initiative. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Dec. 2023 Surrounded by mountains and shaggy, dense boreal forest, the area is home to diverse wildlife including moose, caribou, and American black bears. Clem De Pressigny, Vogue, 8 Nov. 2023 These two traits rank boreal forests among the most important ecosystems on Earth. David J. Cooper, The Conversation, 3 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'boreal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English boriall, from Late Latin borealis, from Latin boreas north wind, north, from Greek, from Boreas

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of boreal was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near boreal

Cite this Entry

“Boreal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bo·​re·​al ˈbō(ə)r-ē-əl How to pronounce boreal (audio)
: of, relating to, or located or growing in northern or mountainous regions

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