broad arrow



a mark in the shape of a broad arrowhead, placed upon British government property.
Archery. an arrow having an expanded head.
Heraldry. pheon.

Origin of broad arrow

1350–1400; Middle English brod arwe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for broad arrow

Historical Examples of broad arrow

  • Firstly, there is the stigma that attaches to every man who has worn the broad-arrow.

    A Plea for the Criminal

    James Leslie Allan Kayll

  • A line of men in broad-arrow stamped suits, all natives, guarded by two armed constables, was filing in from the veldt.

    A Veldt Official

    Bertram Mitford

  • It had the broad-arrow on it, and a custom-house officer seeing it, some time after, was disposed to seize it as a prize.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The mark of the “broad-arrow” is generally incised with the bench-mark so that the horizontal bar passes through its apex.

  • You wouldn't look well at all in a striped suit—or I believe it's the broad-arrow pattern they supply in the prisons here.

    The White Blackbird

    Hudson Douglas

British Dictionary definitions for broad arrow

broad arrow


a mark shaped like a broad arrowhead designating British government property and formerly used on prison clothing
an arrow with a broad head
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