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[dahrt] /dɑrt/
a small, slender missile that is pointed at one end and usually feathered at the other and is propelled by hand, as in the game of darts, or by a blowgun when used as a weapon.
something similar in function to such a missile, as the stinging member of an insect.
darts, (used with a singular verb) a game in which darts are thrown at a target usually marked with concentric circles divided into segments and with a bull's-eye in the center.
an act of darting; a sudden swift movement.
a tapered seam of fabric for adjusting the fit of a garment.
verb (used without object)
to move swiftly; spring or start suddenly and run swiftly:
A mouse darted out of the closet and ran across the room.
verb (used with object)
to thrust or move suddenly or rapidly:
He darted his eyes around the room.
Origin of dart
1275-1325; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Old Low Franconian; compare Old English daroth, Old High German tart, Old Norse darrathr spear, lance
Related forms
dartingly, adverb
dartingness, noun
1. arrow, barb. 6. dash, bolt, shoot. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for darting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were other firecraft; he saw them darting in and down from all sides.

    The Hammer of Thor Charles Willard Diffin
  • People were darting here and there, in ordinary clothes, or in all sorts of makeups.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • He was darting out of the gate, but his friend seized his coat.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Sime made a darting grasp for her wrist and wrung the weapon from her.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • She rose swiftly to her feet, darting fearful glances on all sides.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • The Marl was darting about madly, seeking, seeking a thing like itself.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum John Foster West
  • In truth he had only glimpsed a darting figure, but one he knew!

    They of the High Trails

    Hamlin Garland
  • The American saw his pistol fall, and darting forward, picked it up.

    Up the Forked River

    Edward Sylvester Ellis
British Dictionary definitions for darting


a small narrow pointed missile that is thrown or shot, as in the game of darts
a sudden quick movement
(zoology) a slender pointed structure, as in snails for aiding copulation or in nematodes for penetrating the host's tissues
a tapered tuck made in dressmaking
to move or throw swiftly and suddenly; shoot: she darted across the room
See also darts
Derived Forms
darting, adjective
dartingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, of Germanic origin; related to Old English daroth spear, Old High German tart dart


any of various tropical and semitropical marine fish
Word Origin
from Middle English darce, from Late Latin dardus, dart, javelin
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 darting



late 14c., "to pierce with a dart," from dart (n.). Meaning "to move like a dart" is attested from 1610s. Related: Darted; darter; darting.



early 14c., from Old French dart "throwing spear, arrow," from Proto-Germanic *darothuz cf. Old English daroð, Old High German tart, Old Norse darraþr "dart"). Italian and Spanish dardo are said to be from Germanic by way of Old Provençal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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