a combining form that represents the outcome of archi- in words borrowed through Latin from Greek in the Old English period; it subsequently became a productive form added to nouns of any origin, which thus denote individuals or institutions directing or having authority over others of their class (archbishop; archdiocese; archpriest). More recently, arch-1 has developed the senses “principal” (archenemy; archrival) or “prototypical” and thus exemplary or extreme (archconservative); nouns so formed are almost always pejorative.
skywalkersRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
A Smack Of Jellyfish And Other Strange Animal GroupsWhat do hunting and sexual desires have in common? We could point to several things, but from a linguistic point of view, we’re referring to the archaic word venery, which means both hunting (from the Latin venor) and sexual desire (from Latin veneria, referring to Venus). Strangely, terms of venery is a collective noun that means a group of animals. And, many of these animal …
Definition for arch- (2 of 2)
variant of archi- before a vowel: archangel; archenteron.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for arch-
chief; principal; of highest rankarchangel; archbishop; archduke
eminent above all others of the same kind; extremearchenemy; archfiend; archfool
Word Origin for arch-
ultimately from Greek arkhi-, from arkhein to rule
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
Word Origin and History for arch-
also archi-, word-forming element meaning "chief, principal; extreme, ultra; early, primitive," from Latinized form of Greek arkh-, arkhi- "first, chief, primeval," comb. form of arkhos "chief" (see archon).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper