fos·​so·​ri·​al | \ fä-ˈsȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce fossorial (audio) \

Definition of fossorial

: adapted to digging a fossorial foot

Examples of fossorial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Fossorial animals live underground, and nocturnal animals only come out at night. Kellie Ann Benz, The Mercury News, "Bear or badger? Specialists can’t agree on Los Gatos backyard video," 4 May 2017

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

First Known Use of fossorial

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fossorial

Medieval Latin fossorius used for digging, from Latin fossor digger, from fodere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fossorial

Share fossorial

Statistics for fossorial

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fossorial

The first known use of fossorial was in 1836

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on fossorial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fossorial

Comments on fossorial

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

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


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!