bo·​re·​al | \ ˈbȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce boreal (audio) \

Definition of boreal

1 : of, relating to, or located in northern regions boreal waters
2 : 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

Animals like the snowshoe hare, found in the boreal forests of Alaska, undergo a seasonal molt from brown in the summer to white in the winter to camouflage with their environment. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Winters are warming faster than summers. These US cities could lose weeks of freezing days by 2050.," 21 Dec. 2018 Rising temperatures can trigger massive die-offs in places filled with life, for example, such as the oceans or tropical and boreal forests. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Warn Earth's Ecosystems Could Start Releasing CO2 On Their Own," 7 Aug. 2018 The study examined ten of the Earth’s more vulnerable habitats, including the Amazon rainforest, polar ice caps, boreal forest, and the ocean floor. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Warn Earth's Ecosystems Could Start Releasing CO2 On Their Own," 7 Aug. 2018 Over much of their range, boreal owls operate in the dark every night. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "During long summer days in Alaska, Boreal owls perform by daylight," 30 June 2018 More than half of Canada’s landmass is comprised of the boreal forest—a vast and tree-filled region that extends across the country. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Canada Is Now Home to the World’s Largest Stretch of Protected Boreal Forests," 18 May 2018 The Nashville Warbler is a boreal forest breeder on its way not to Tennessee (despite its name) but up the Mississippi Valley to the North Woods. Bruce M. Beehler, Smithsonian, "Thirty-Seven Warblers in a Hundred Days," 16 Apr. 2018 The trees surrounding the Kanuti clearing are typical of the boreal forest, but Pilgrim Springs on the Seward Peninsula is home to spruce and pine trees, probably planted by someone during that place's long occupation. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Finding a steaming oasis, isolated and remote: A look at Alaska’s hot springs," 14 Apr. 2018 More than one-third of the world’s remaining large intact forest acreage lies in the boreal forests of the far north, mainly in Canada and Russia. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "The World’s Wilderness: Going, Going and Soon Gone?," 4 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of boreal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for boreal

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about boreal

Statistics for boreal

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for boreal

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on boreal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boreal

Spanish Central: Translation of boreal

Nglish: Translation of boreal for Spanish Speakers

Comments on boreal

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


to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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