There are 2 main definitions of arch in English:

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arch1

Syllabification: arch
Pronunciation: /ärCH
 
/

noun

1A curved symmetrical structure spanning an opening and typically supporting the weight of a bridge, roof, or wall above it.
Example sentences
  • The result brings to mind support structures for vaulted arches (for instance Gaudi's Sagrada Familia).
  • The arches supporting the weight above still held as strong as the day they were built.
  • The primary structure of steel arches was chosen to span a cavernous underground cistern, part of the city's drainage system, and avoid underwater foundations.
Synonyms
archway, vault, span, dome
1.1An arched structure forming a passageway or a ceremonial monument: a triumphal arch
More example sentences
  • That feature most symbolic of entrance, the triumphal arch, is to be found only at the foot of the Capitol, where the ancient texts place it.
  • Pusading's ornamental arch has a pair of stone lions and the stone wall facing them was apparently built to block their vision.
  • The Corinthia consists of two curving towers, one slightly taller than the other, linked by a cavernous reception area topped by a triumphal arch.
1.2A shape resembling an arch or a thing with such a shape: the delicate arch of his eyebrows
More example sentences
  • The Helium filled balloons which had formed an arch of honour over the entrance gate were tied to the two coaches and accompanying cars to make for a colourful entryway.
  • At the church entrance John's rowing companions formed an arch of oars, under which John's remains passed.
  • Under the arch of her eyebrows, her wide brown eyes glowed with their vague hint of secrecy, their quiet incandescence.
Synonyms
hunch, crook
1.3The inner side of the foot.
Example sentences
  • Start off by massaging your entire foot - heel, arch and toes.
  • Flat feet, low arches, and loose ligaments also contribute to the formation of bunions.
  • Most of it's standard - obviously if you spend a lot of time crouched over, you'll have a sore back - but I'm slightly worried that the arches of my feet hurt.

verb

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1 [no object] Have the curved shape of an arch: a beautiful bridge that arched over a canal
More example sentences
  • And the tree grew thick, leafy branches that arched over the boy.
  • But the reward was generous - a tremulous rainbow arched over the mountains, shaggy with greenery.
  • All of a sudden, the sky cleared, became blue and a perfect rainbow arched over me with one end in the sand.
1.1Form or cause to form the curved shape of an arch: her eyebrows arched in surprise [with object]: she arched her back
More example sentences
  • Larry glanced at Adam, eyebrows arching in surprise.
  • Louis took the letter, his eyebrows arching in surprise, and thanked the secretary.
  • Her face was pale, very pale - her golden eyebrows slightly arched in surprise as she saw me.
Synonyms
2 [with object] (usually as adjective arched) Provide (a bridge, building, or part of a building) with an arch: high arched windows
More example sentences
  • A long-span, arched structure would have been heavy, bulky and difficult to carry down into the pit.
  • On the street level, the lower sections of the large windows are frosted, while the upper arched openings are clear.
  • Supporters believe that once the design is perfected, arched wooden bridges will also be able to be used to span roads and take motor traffic.
2.1 archaic or literary Span (something) by or as if by an arch: the vine arched his evening seat
More example sentences
  • A mass of rock had arched him over—or, rather, the hand of God, as if by miracle, had delivered the Christian miner.
  • The main nave is arched by a barrel vault with sectors, as is the presbytery, where the sectors are convergent.
  • It is difficult to imagine a more dramatic setting for these 18-hole masterpieces, with fairways abutting ancient lava flows, tees surrounded by palm groves, and greens arched by rainbows created in the ocean mist.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French arche, based on Latin arcus 'bow' (see arc).

More
  • arc from (Late Middle English):

    A number of English words comes from Latin arcus ‘a bow, arch, or curve’, among them arc, arcade (late 17th century), and arch (Middle English). Arc was originally a term for the path of the sun or other celestial objects from horizon to horizon. Given the shape of a bow for shooting arrows, it should not be surprising that archer (Middle English) has the same Latin source. Another meaning of arch, ‘chief or principal’ (as in archbishop (Old English) or arch-enemy (mid 16th century)), has a different origin, coming from Greek arkhos ‘a chief or ruler’. This Greek word can also be seen in anarchy (mid 16th century), which literally means ‘the state of having no ruler’, in architect (mid 16th century) from archi and tektōn ‘builder’, and archipelago (early 16th century) from archi and pelagos ‘sea’. This was originally used as a proper name for the Aegean Sea; the general sense ‘group of islands’ arose because the Aegean Sea is remarkable for its large numbers of islands.

Words that rhyme with arch

larch, march, parch, starch

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There are 2 main definitions of arch in English:

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arch2

Syllabification: arch
Pronunciation: /ärCH
 
/

adjective

Deliberately or affectedly playful and teasing: arch observations about even the most mundane matters
More example sentences
  • If my arch tone suggests some skepticism about his sincerity, it's not meant to.
  • Instinctive, impulsive melodies meet melancholia and melodrama in gay tales of arch commentary and frank observation.
  • They have made six shimmering albums packed with arch observations, yet their world remains small, their vision unique.
Synonyms
mischievous, teasing, knowing, playful, roguish, impish, cheeky, tongue-in-cheek
informal saucy

Origin

mid 16th century (in the sense 'chief, principal'): from arch-, because of its association with words such as rogue.

More
  • arc from (Late Middle English):

    A number of English words comes from Latin arcus ‘a bow, arch, or curve’, among them arc, arcade (late 17th century), and arch (Middle English). Arc was originally a term for the path of the sun or other celestial objects from horizon to horizon. Given the shape of a bow for shooting arrows, it should not be surprising that archer (Middle English) has the same Latin source. Another meaning of arch, ‘chief or principal’ (as in archbishop (Old English) or arch-enemy (mid 16th century)), has a different origin, coming from Greek arkhos ‘a chief or ruler’. This Greek word can also be seen in anarchy (mid 16th century), which literally means ‘the state of having no ruler’, in architect (mid 16th century) from archi and tektōn ‘builder’, and archipelago (early 16th century) from archi and pelagos ‘sea’. This was originally used as a proper name for the Aegean Sea; the general sense ‘group of islands’ arose because the Aegean Sea is remarkable for its large numbers of islands.

Derivatives

archly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • ‘You will observe,’ wrote Jawaharlal Nehru archly to a Cabinet colleague, ‘that we have disturbed the hornet's nest and I believe most of us are likely to be badly stung.’
  • ‘Of course I have,’ she countered archly, ‘you just forgot.’
  • ‘He thinks it's ostentatious,’ says Boss archly.

archness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • The archness doesn't really get in the way of the crime fighting, but it does lift this book from potentially boring to perfectly diversionary summer reading.
  • There is no archness in the presentation of this stuff; it does not read with a hint of irony, it has no sly jokes between the lines, no punchlines whatsoever.
  • I found this a satisfying device, teetering on archness, but successful in maintaining a playful tone.

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