arbor vitae

Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to arbor vitae: arbor vitae uteri
click for a larger image
white cedar
Thuja occidentalis


also ar·bor vi·tae (är′bər-vī′tē)
1. Any of various coniferous evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Thuja of North America and eastern Asia, having flattened branchlets with opposite, scalelike leaves and small cones. They are grown as ornamentals and for timber. Also called thuja.
2. Any similar plant of the related genera Platycladus or Thujopsis.
3. Anatomy The white nerve tissue of the cerebellum, which has a treelike outline in a median section.

[From New Latin arbor vītae, tree of life : Latin arbor, tree + Latin vītae, genitive of vīta, life; see vital.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

arbor vitae

(ˈɑːbɔː ˈviːtaɪ; ˈvaɪtiː) or


(Plants) any of several Asian and North American evergreen coniferous trees of the genera Thuja and Thujopsis, esp Thuja occidentalis, having tiny scalelike leaves and egglike cones. See also red cedar
[C17: from New Latin, literally: tree of life]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
We require an infusion of hemlock, spruce or arbor vitae in our tea.
A row of lush arbor vitae line the rear lot line, while a Princess Diana hydrangea anchors the south-facing side yard.
Laterally, the wings of the emblem are associated with the cerebellum, in Latin termed Arbor vitae (Tree of Life) by medieval anatomists.
McElhinney, 28, of 1 Arbor Vitae St., Worcester, charged with driving an uninsured vehicle, dismissed upon $50 default removal fee; driving an unregistered vehicle, found not responsible; and license plate violation to conceal ID, dismissed.
Once inside it's easy to imagine you're somewhere else, perhaps in one of those popular joints off Arbor Vitae and La Brea in Inglewood, or in South Central.
A second collection from the award-winning poet Nigel Humphreys (The Flavour of Parallel, Arbor Vitae, pounds 7.99).
Jeremy Williams is a principal of Arbor Vitae Environmental Services Ltd.