Definition of fossorial in English:


Line breaks: fos|sor¦ial
Pronunciation: /fɒˈsɔːrɪəl


1(Of an animal) burrowing.
More example sentences
  • The only Australian fossorial mammal is the marsupial mole, Notoryctes typhlops (order Notoryctimorphia, family Notoryctidae).
  • The means of intraspecific communication in the insectivorous fossorial mammals clearly needs to be examined in more detail and is not addressed further here.
  • Most mammals employing this behavior are subterranean, rather than simply fossorial; most fossorial mammals are limited to scratch digging.
1.1(Of limbs) adapted for use in burrowing.
More example sentences
  • In insects with fossorial legs the fore legs and tibiae are specialized for digging.


mid 19th century: from medieval Latin fossorius (from Latin fossor 'digger', from fodere 'to dig') + -al.

Definition of fossorial in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day oleaginous
Pronunciation: ˌəʊlɪˈadʒɪnəs
rich in, covered with, or producing oil; oily