1. a small, slender missile that is pointed at one end and usually feathered at the other and is propelled by hand, as in the game of darts, or by a blowgun when used as a weapon.
  2. something similar in function to such a missile, as the stinging member of an insect.
  3. darts, (used with a singular verb) a game in which darts are thrown at a target usually marked with concentric circles divided into segments and with a bull's-eye in the center.
  4. an act of darting; a sudden swift movement.
  5. a tapered seam of fabric for adjusting the fit of a garment.
verb (used without object)
  1. to move swiftly; spring or start suddenly and run swiftly: A mouse darted out of the closet and ran across the room.
verb (used with object)
  1. to thrust or move suddenly or rapidly: He darted his eyes around the room.

Origin of dart

1275–1325; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Old Low Franconian; compare Old English daroth, Old High German tart, Old Norse darrathr spear, lance
Related formsdart·ing·ly, adverbdart·ing·ness, noun

Synonyms for dart

1. arrow, barb. 6. dash, bolt, shoot.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for darts

Contemporary Examples of darts

Historical Examples of darts

  • We could see the shafts of the darts fast in the cleft, bristling in the moonlight.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • On this occasion he had provided himself with a large bundle of darts, but—wise man!

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • The darts of calamity may assail her on every side, but she is invulnerable to them all.


    William Godwin

  • The current used flows in the direction of the darts (C) or to the left.

  • Here the fluttering phantom of flying Aeneas darts and hides itself.

British Dictionary definitions for darts


  1. (functioning as singular) any of various competitive games in which darts are thrown at a dartboard


  1. a small narrow pointed missile that is thrown or shot, as in the game of darts
  2. a sudden quick movement
  3. zoology a slender pointed structure, as in snails for aiding copulation or in nematodes for penetrating the host's tissues
  4. a tapered tuck made in dressmaking
  1. to move or throw swiftly and suddenly; shootshe darted across the room
See also darts
Derived Formsdarting, adjectivedartingly, adverb

Word Origin for dart

C14: from Old French, of Germanic origin; related to Old English daroth spear, Old High German tart dart


  1. any of various tropical and semitropical marine fish

Word Origin for dart

from Middle English darce, from Late Latin dardus, dart, javelin
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 darts



late 14c., "to pierce with a dart," from dart (n.). Meaning "to move like a dart" is attested from 1610s. Related: Darted; darter; darting.



early 14c., from Old French dart "throwing spear, arrow," from Proto-Germanic *darothuz cf. Old English daroð, Old High German tart, Old Norse darraþr "dart"). Italian and Spanish dardo are said to be from Germanic by way of Old Provençal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper