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.
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).
Other definitions for arch (2 of 7)
Obsolete. a person who is preeminent; a chief.
Other definitions for arch- (3 of 7)
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.
Other definitions for arch- (4 of 7)
Other definitions for -arch (5 of 7)
a combining form meaning “chief, leader, ruler,” used in the formation of compound words: monarch; matriarch; heresiarch.
Other definitions for arch. (6 of 7)
Other definitions for Arch. (7 of 7)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use arch in a sentence
On the steps of the old courthouse in the shadow of the arch where Al Sharpton addressed a media horde.
Meanwhile, in the town plaza, arch-rival Brazilian and Argentinian fans were busy hurling insults and beer bottles at one another.What Is It About Soccer That Brings Out the Hooligan in Its Fans? | Bill Morris | June 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
This has all fueled attacks against Comstock by her opponents in the primary, who include arch conservative Del.Republican Congressional Candidate's Awkward Obama Vote | Ben Jacobs | April 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In contrast, arch-rival California has lost a half a million.Forget What the Pundits Tell You, Coastal Cities are Old News - it’s the Sunbelt that’s Booming | Joel Kotkin | March 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
After a while, as we were arguing about the Thicket, it occurred to us that all in the house save arch and me had gone to bed.‘The Land of the Permanent Wave’ Is Bud Shrake’s Classic Take on ‘60s Texas | Edwin Shrake | February 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The way was under a double row of tall trees, which met at the top and formed a green arch over our heads.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
He thought a little longer, and as he did so, a vision of his arch enemy rose before him.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
A golden eagle, the armorial ensign of the Ripperda family, crested the centre arch.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
Bonaparte made his public entry into Milan under a triumphal arch.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
The girl, without saying a word, takes her by the cold hand, and leads her quickly down to the arch that opens on the hall.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
British Dictionary definitions for arch (1 of 5)
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)
(tr) to span (an opening) with an arch
to form or cause to form an arch or a curve resembling that of an arch: the cat arched its back
(tr) to span or extend over: the bridge arched the flooded stream
British Dictionary definitions for arch (2 of 5)
(prenominal) chief; principal; leading: his arch rival
(prenominal) very experienced; expert: an arch criminal
knowing or superior
playfully or affectedly roguish or mischievous
- archly, adverb
- archness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for arch- (3 of 5)
chief; principal; of highest rank: archangel; archbishop; archduke
eminent above all others of the same kind; extreme: archenemy; archfiend; archfool
British Dictionary definitions for -arch (4 of 5)
leader; ruler; chief: patriarch; monarch; heresiarch
British Dictionary definitions for arch. (5 of 5)
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
Cultural definitions for arch
In architecture, a curved or pointed opening that spans a doorway, window, or other space.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.