Origin of ark

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) < Latin arca chest, coffer, derivative of arcēre to safeguard, cognate with Hittite h̬ark- hold, possess
Can be confusedarc ark

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

Examples from the Web for ark

Contemporary Examples of ark

Historical Examples of ark

  • The Ark of God would bear them safely when all material help failed.

  • A bell, for instance—as well expect to find a bell here as in Noah's Ark!

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • "No, it looks like one that came over in the ark," retorted Mrs. Glynn.

    The Yates Pride

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • And once more: 'When the ark was removed a stone was there from the days of the first Prophets.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • Where were the Tabernacle and the ark of God placed after the land was won?

    Hurlbut's Bible Lessons

    Rev. Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

British Dictionary definitions for ark



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)
out of the ark informal very old; out of date
a place or thing offering shelter or protection
dialect a chest, box, or coffer

Word Origin for ark

Old English arc, from Latin arca box, chest


noun Judaism

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


abbreviation for

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 ark

Old English earc, mainly meaning Noah's but also the Ark of the Covenant, from Latin arca "large box, chest" (see arcane). Also borrowed in Old High German (arahha, Modern German Arche). From the Noachian sense comes extended meaning "place of refuge" (17c.). As the name of a type of ship or boat, from late 15c. In 19c. U.S., especially a large, flat-bottomed river boat to move produce, livestock, etc. to market.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper