Definition of fossorial in English:

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Pronunciation: /fɒˈsɔːrɪəl/


1(Of an animal) burrowing.
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.
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fos|sor¦ial

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