[ ahrch ]
/ ɑrtʃ /
- 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.
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
to form an arch: elms arching over the road.
Nautical. hog (def. 14).
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Origin of arch1
1250–1300; Middle English arch(e) <Old French arche<Vulgar Latin *arca, feminine variant of Latin arcusarc
Definition for arch (2 of 7)
[ ahrch ]
/ ɑrtʃ /
playfully roguish or mischievous: an arch smile.
cunning; crafty; sly.
Obsolete. a person who is preeminent; a chief.
Origin of arch2
Independent use of arch-1
Definition 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.
Definition for arch (4 of 7)
variant of archi- before a vowel: archangel; archenteron.
Definition for arch (5 of 7)
a combining form meaning “chief, leader, ruler,” used in the formation of compound words: monarch; matriarch; heresiarch.
Origin of -arch
<Greek -archos or -archēs, as comb. forms of árchos leader; cf. archi-
Definition for arch (6 of 7)
Definition for arch (7 of 7)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for arch (1 of 5)
/ (ɑːtʃ) /
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
Word Origin for arch
C14: from Old French arche, from Vulgar Latin arca (unattested), from Latin arcus bow, arc
British Dictionary definitions for arch (2 of 5)
/ (ɑːtʃ) /
(prenominal) chief; principal; leadinghis arch rival
(prenominal) very experienced; expertan arch criminal
knowing or superior
playfully or affectedly roguish or mischievous
Derived forms of archarchly, adverbarchness, noun
Word Origin for arch
C16: independent use of arch-
British Dictionary definitions for arch (3 of 5)
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
British Dictionary definitions for arch (4 of 5)
n combining form
leader; ruler; chiefpatriarch; monarch; heresiarch
Word Origin for -arch
from Greek -arkhēs, from arkhein to rule; compare arch-
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
Medical definitions for arch
[ ärch ]
An organ or structure having a curved or bowlike appearance, especially either of two arched sections of the bony structure of the foot.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cultural definitions for arch
In architecture, a curved or pointed opening that spans a doorway, window, or other space.
notes for arch
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.