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[ahrk] /ɑrk/
Geometry. any unbroken part of the circumference of a circle or other curved line.
Also called electric arc. Electricity. a luminous bridge formed in a gap between two electrodes.
Compare spark1 (def 2).
Astronomy. the part of a circle representing the apparent course of a heavenly body.
anything bow-shaped.
verb (used without object), arced
[ahrkt] /ɑrkt/ (Show IPA)
or arcked, arcing
[ahr-king] /ˈɑr kɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
or arcking.
to form an electric arc.
to move in a curve suggestive of an arc.
Origin of arc
1350-1400; Middle English ark < Latin arcus bow, arch, curve
Can be confused
arc, ark. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for arcing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the bolt caromed harmlessly off the side of the arcing Star Devil!

    Hawk Carse Anthony Gilmore
  • Its resistance fell, the arcing decreased; the beam became orange and finally green.

    The Last Evolution John Wood Campbell
  • The sun was far below the horizon when it was finished, and the glowing, arcing forces that had made and formed it were stopped.

    The Last Evolution John Wood Campbell
  • It is better to have switches of some excess capacity, as the heavy metal stands the arcing much better.

  • Now the blue fireball was arcing down over the hillside, trailing its orange-red comet tail.

  • And then there was the smell of burned insulation and a wire was arcing somewhere, while thick rubbery smoke arose.

    The Fifth-Dimension Tube William Fitzgerald Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for arcing


something curved in shape
part of an unbroken curved line
a luminous discharge that occurs when an electric current flows between two electrodes or any other two surfaces separated by a small gap and a high potential difference
(astronomy) a circular section of the apparent path of a celestial body
(maths) a section of a curve, graph, or geometric figure
verb arcs, arcing, arced, arcs, arcking, arcked
(intransitive) to form an arc
(maths) specifying an inverse trigonometric function: usually written arcsin, arctan, arcsec, etc, or sometimes sin–1, tan–1, sec–1, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin arcus bow, arch


AIDS-related complex: an early condition in which a person infected with the AIDS virus may suffer from such mild symptoms as loss of weight, fever, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for arcing



late 14c., originally in reference to the sun's apparent motion in the sky, from Old French arc "bow, arch, vault" (12c.), from Latin arcus "a bow, arch," from PIE root *arku- "bowed, curved" (cf. Gothic arhvazna "arrow," Old English earh, Old Norse ör; also, via notion of "supple, flexible," Greek arkeuthos, Latvian ercis "juniper," Russian rakita, Czech rokyta, Serbo-Croatian rakita "brittle willow"). Electrical sense is from 1821.



1893, in the electrical sense, from arc (n.). Meaning "to move in an arc" attested by 1954. Related: Arced; arcing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arcing in Medicine

arc (ärk)
A curved line or segment of a circle.

ARC abbr.
AIDS-related complex

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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arcing in Science
  1. A segment of a circle.

  2. See electric arc.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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