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/ or arcked, arc·ing [ahr-king] /ˈɑr kɪŋ/ or arck·ing.

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 confusedarc ark Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for arcing

arc, twist, curl, curve, bend, cut, spin, swing, pass, swerve, veer, bulge, buckle, spiral, crumple, coil, skew, loop, bridge, span

Examples from the Web for arcing

Contemporary Examples of arcing

  • That afternoon, on a hunch, Ray Molina, a longtime friend who lived in New Mexico, followed an arcing route south from the lodge.

  • I looked down at it, and this rope of blood just went [makes a shooting sound and an arcing motion through the air].

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Knife Master

    Melissa Vaughn, Brendan Vaughn

    October 11, 2010

  • He later identified the occurrence in psychic literature as supernatural “arcing.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Ghostbusters Is Real!

    Benjamin Sarlin

    October 26, 2009

Historical Examples of arcing

  • 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.

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 or arcked

(intr) 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 for arc

C14: from Old French, from Latin arcus bow, arch


abbreviation for

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

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

arcing in Medicine




A curved line or segment of a circle.



AIDS-related complex
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

arcing in Science



A segment of a circle.
See electric arc.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.