- a curved masonry construction for spanning an opening, consisting of a number of wedgelike stones, bricks, or the like, set with the narrower side toward the opening in such a way that forces on the arch are transmitted as vertical or oblique stresses on either side of the opening.
- an upwardly curved construction, as of steel or timber functioning in the manner of a masonry arch.
- a doorway, gateway, etc., having a curved head; an archway.
- the curved head of an opening, as a doorway.
- any overhead curvature resembling an arch.
- something bowed or curved; any bowlike part: the arch of the foot.
- a device inserted in or built into shoes for supporting the arch of the foot.
- a dam construction having the form of a barrel vault running vertically with its convex face toward the impounded water.
- a chamber or opening in a glassmaking furnace.
- pot arch.
- to cover with a vault, or span with an arch: the rude bridge that arched the flood.
- to throw or make into the shape of an arch or vault; curve: The horse arched its neck.
- to form an arch: elms arching over the road.
- Nautical. hog(def 14).
Origin of arch1
- playfully roguish or mischievous: an arch smile.
- cunning; crafty; sly.
- Obsolete. a person who is preeminent; a chief.
Origin of arch2
Examples from the Web for arches
The tomb, though much smaller than the palace, is similarly a vision of ornate twists, arches, and peaks.The Postman Who Built a Palace in France…by Hand
November 20, 2014
When we arrived into Lalish, arches with symbols representing the sun indicated we were nearing the temple complex.Fighting Back With Faith: Inside the Yezidis’ Iraqi Temple
August 21, 2014
The people faded away, the arches, the vaulted roof vanished.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
For the uninitiated, it is the white French castle that is built over a river with arches that give it such a unique dimension.Michael Clinton: How to Become a Globe-Trotter
March 4, 2013
"That's Orlando," Roth explains, referencing one character's concept of ultimate paradise—the arches of Disney World.Book of Mormon's Magnificent Costumes
April 15, 2011
A loud noise which reverberated under the arches made her tremble.The Dream
Saxon arches separating the nave from the aisles and chancel are plain.
The doorway of Malmesbury Church has eight arches, recessed one within the other.
These arches are supported by one or more shafts, which are sometimes carved.
He would have all the arches as light as laughter and as candid as logic.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
- Court of Arches Church of England the court of appeal of the Province of Canterbury, formerly held under the arches of Bow Church
- a curved structure, normally in the vertical plane, that spans an opening
- Also called: archway a structure in the form of an arch that serves as a gateway
- something curved like an arch
- any of various parts or structures of the body having a curved or archlike outline, such as the transverse portion of the aorta (arch of the aorta) or the raised bony vault formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones (arch of the foot)
- one of the basic patterns of the human fingerprint, formed by several curved ridges one above the otherCompare loop 1 (def. 10a), whorl (def. 3)
- (tr) to span (an opening) with an arch
- to form or cause to form an arch or a curve resembling that of an archthe cat arched its back
- (tr) to span or extend overthe bridge arched the flooded stream
- (prenominal) chief; principal; leadinghis arch rival
- (prenominal) very experienced; expertan arch criminal
- knowing or superior
- playfully or affectedly roguish or mischievous
Word Origin and History for arches
1540s, "chief, principal," from prefix arch-; used in 12c. archangel, etc., but extended to so many derogatory uses (arch-rogue, arch-knave, etc.) that by mid-17c. it acquired a meaning of "roguish, mischievous," since softened to "saucy." Also found in archwife (late 14c.), variously defined as "a wife of a superior order" or "a dominating woman, virago."
early 14c., "to form an arch" (implied in arched); c.1400, "to furnish with an arch," from arch (n.). Related: Arching.
- An organ or structure having a curved or bowlike appearance, especially either of two arched sections of the bony structure of the foot.
In architecture, a curved or pointed opening that spans a doorway, window, or other space.