[ ahrk ]
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  1. Also called ark of the cov·e·nant [ahrkuhvthuh-kuhv-uh-nuhnt] /ˈɑrk əv ðə ˈkʌv ə nənt/ . a chest or box containing the two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, carried by the Israelites in their wanderings in the desert after the Exodus: the most sacred object of the tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem, where it was kept in the holy of holies.

  1. Ark, Judaism. Holy Ark.

  2. a place of protection or security; refuge; asylum.

  3. a flatboat formerly used on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

  4. Nautical. life car.

  5. Archaic. a chest or box.

Origin of ark

First recorded before 850; Middle English ark(e), erke, Old English arc, earc(e) (compare Old Frisian erke, arke, Dutch ark, Old High German, Gothic arka, Old Norse ǫrk ), from Latin arca “chest, coffer,” derivative of arcēre “to safeguard,” cognate with Hittite h̬ark- “hold, possess”

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Other definitions for Ark. (2 of 2)


  1. Arkansas. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ark in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ark (1 of 3)


/ (ɑːk) /

  1. the vessel that Noah built and in which he saved himself, his family, and a number of animals and birds during the Flood (Genesis 6–9)

  2. out of the ark informal very old; out of date

  1. a place or thing offering shelter or protection

  2. dialect a chest, box, or coffer

Origin of ark

Old English arc, from Latin arca box, chest

British Dictionary definitions for Ark (2 of 3)


/ (ɑːk) /

  1. Also called: Holy Ark the cupboard at the front of a synagogue, usually in the eastern wall, in which the Torah scrolls are kept

  2. Also called: Ark of the Covenant the most sacred symbol of God's presence among the Hebrew people, carried in their journey from Sinai to the Promised Land (Canaan) and eventually enshrined in the holy of holies of the Temple in Jerusalem

British Dictionary definitions for Ark. (3 of 3)


abbreviation for
  1. Arkansas

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