- A usually curved structure forming the upper edge of an open space and supporting the weight above it, as in a bridge or doorway.
- A structure, such as a freestanding monument, shaped like an inverted U.
- A curve with the ends down and the middle up: the arch of a raised eyebrow.
- Anatomy An organ or structure having a curved or bowlike appearance, especially either of two arched sections of the bony structure of the foot.
verbarched, arch·ing, arch·es
- To provide with an arch: arch a passageway.
- To cause to form an arch or similar curve.
- To bend backward: The dancers alternately arched and hunched their backs.
- To span: “the rude bridge that arched the flood” ( Ralph Waldo Emerson )
To form an arch or archlike curve: The high fly ball arched toward the stands.
Origin of arch
Middle English from
Old French arche from
Vulgar Latin arca from
Ruler; leader: matriarch.
Origin of -arch
Middle English -arche from
Old French from
Late Latin -archa from
Latin -archēs from
Greek -arkhēs from arkhos ruler from arkhein to rule
- An inverted U shape.
- An arch-shaped arrangement of trapezoidal stones, designed to redistribute downward force outward.
- (architecture) An architectural element having the shape of an arch
- Any place covered by an arch; an archway.
- to pass into the arch of a bridge
- (archaic, geometry) An arc; a part of a curve.
(third-person singular simple present arches, present participle arching, simple past and past participle arched)
- To form into an arch shape
- The cat arched its back
- To cover with an arch or arches.
From Middle English, from Old French arche (“an arch”) (French arche), a feminine form of arc, from Latin arcus (“a bow, arc, arch”).
(comparative archer, superlative archest)
- Knowing, clever, mischievous.
- I attempted to hide my emotions, but an arch remark escaped my lips.
- [He] spoke his request with so arch a leer.
- 1906, O. Henry, By Courier
- A certain melancholy that touched her countenance must have been of recent birth, for it had not yet altered the fine and youthful contours of her cheek, nor subdued the arch though resolute curve of her lips.
- 1912, Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage, Chapter 3
- Lassiter ended there with dry humor, yet behind that was meaning. Jane blushed and made arch eyes at him.
- Principal; primary.
- (obsolete) A chief.
From the prefix arch-. "Principal" is the original sense; "mischievous" is via onetime frequent collocation with rogue, knave, etc.
From Latin archi-, from Ancient Greek á¼€ÏÏ‡Î¹- (archi-), from á¼„ÏÏ‡Ï‰ (archÅ, “to begin, to lead, to rule, to govern").
- Archæan (geology)
- archæologic →
- archæologue (archaic)
- archæology →
- archæon (biology)
From Ancient Greek ἀρχαῖος (arkhaios, “ancient”, “primitive”), from ἀρχή (arkhē, “beginning”).