Meaning of ARCH in English

I. ˈärch, ˈȧch noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle English arche, from Old French, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin arca, from Latin arcus arch, bow, arc — more at arrow

1. archaic : a part of a curve : arc

2. : a typically curved structural member spanning an opening and serving as a support (as for the wall or other weight above the opening) by resolving vertical pressure into horizontal thrust, sometimes consisting of a framed structure similar in construction to a truss, sometimes made up of wedge-shaped solids with their joints at right angles to the curve

3. : a structure or other object having the form of an arch or resembling an arch in form or function: as

a. : either of two vaulted portions of the bony structure of the foot that impart elasticity to and cushion the foot against shock (as in walking, running, leaping):

(1) : a longitudinal arch supported posteriorly by the basal tuberosity of the calcaneus and anteriorly by the heads of the metatarsal bones

(2) : a transverse arch consisting of the metatarsals and 1st row of tarsals and resulting from elevation of the central anterior portion of the median longitudinal arch

b. : one of the fire chambers of a brick kiln ; also : the fire chamber in certain kinds of furnaces and ovens

c. : the arched top of a furnace or gas retort

d. : a round transverse bar shaped like an inverted U whose ends form the wheel axles of a row-crop cultivator, the arch providing clearance for the plants as they are cultivated

e. : a fingerprint in which all the ridges run from side to side and make no backward turn — compare loop , whorl

f. : a natural bridge resulting from erosion

g. geology : an upward flexure of sedimentary rocks

the Cincinnati arch

: a broad anticline

h. : an arch formed in dancing by raised and joined hands, kerchiefs, or swords by a couple, a pair, or a row of couples for the passage of a soloist or the remaining couples in line

i. : the lengthwise frame piece of a loom beneath which the warp travels and the cloth is woven

j. : the semicircular side plates of a carding machine

k. : a derrick-like device consisting of a metal frame and fairlead mounted on the rear of a tractor or on separate wheels or tracks and used for lifting log ends clear of the ground so as to facilitate their skidding — compare sulky


a. : a curvature having or approximating the form of an arch

a slight arch to her eyebrows

an arch in the cat's back

b. : the perpendicular distance from the master leaf of a leaf spring to a line drawn through the centers of the spring eyes

5. : a place covered by an arch : archway

[s]arch.jpg[/s] [

arch 1: 1 round: imp impost, sp springer, v voussoir, k keystone, ext extrados, int intrados; 2 horseshoe; 3 lancet; 4 ogee; 5 trefoil; 6 basket-handle; 7 Tudor


II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: Middle English archen, from arche, n.

transitive verb

1. : to cover or provide with an arch or arches : span with an arch

a bridge arches the stream

the high blue heaven that arches our continent — D.C.Peattie

2. : to form or bend into the shape of an arch : curve

arch her eyebrows

arch the ball a trifle higher — W.L.Hughes

intransitive verb

1. : to form into an arch : take the shape of an arch

trees arch above the promenade — American Guide Series: Maine

2. : to follow or take an arch-shaped path or course

the ball arched toward the basket

the meteor arched across the sky

3. dancing

a. : to form an arch by joining hands with the dance partner or neighbor

b. : to place the toe of the free foot against the arch of the supporting foot

III. adjective

Etymology: arch- (I)

1. : most important or outstanding : principal , chief — used attributively usually with a hyphen

an arch -villain

the life of Thoreau as an arch Yankee — H.S.Canby


[ arch- (I) ; from its use as an intensifying prefix in such compounds as archrogue, archwag, whereby some of the semantic range of rogue and wag was extended to the prefix]

a. : characterized by clever or sly alertness

that arch eye of yours! it sees through everything — Jane Austen

b. : playfully saucy : roguish

an arch look

: having an exaggerated often forced or artificial playfulness

simpering expressions and arch posturing — Osbert Lancaster

IV. noun

( -es )

obsolete : one that is preeminent : chief

V. abbreviation

1. archaic

2. often capitalized archbishop

3. archery

4. archipelago

5. architecture

6. archive

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.