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.

Nearby words

  1. arbuscular mycorrhiza,
  2. arbuthnot,
  3. arbuthnot, john,
  4. arbutus,
  5. arbutus, trailing,
  6. arc cos,
  7. arc cosecant,
  8. arc cosine,
  9. arc cot,
  10. arc cotangent

Origin of arc

1350–1400; Middle English ark < Latin arcus bow, arch, curve

Can be confusedarc ark





Associate of the Royal College of Science.
Associate of the Royal College of Surgeons. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arcs

British Dictionary definitions for arcs


abbreviation for

Associate of the Royal College of Science



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 arcs
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for arcs




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.

Science definitions for arcs



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.