Definition of arrow in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈerō/


1A shaft sharpened at the front and with feathers or vanes at the back, shot from a bow as a weapon or for sport: his ability to launch an arrow accurately
More example sentences
  • They stood in the trenches, weapons unsheathed and arrows nocked on bows.
  • It felt as if there was one of Cupid's magical love arrows sticking straight out of my heart.
  • Archery is like darts, except that the arrows are launched, not by hand, but by a recurve bow.
shaft, bolt, dart
historical quarrel
1.1A mark or sign resembling an arrow, used to show direction or position; a pointer: we drove in the main gate and followed a series of arrows [as modifier]: you can use the up and down arrow keys
More example sentences
  • I have marked with black arrows the direction in which they could have walked to the spot they eventually stole the cab from.
  • Small posts with arrows indicate the direction of the nearest phone.
  • Just a few minutes into our trek to Amsterdam we mistakenly followed the way one sign was facing instead of the direction of the arrow on it.
pointer, indicator, marker, needle



arrow of time (or time's arrow)

The direction of travel from past to future in time considered as a physical dimension.
Example sentences
  • In other words, in the microworld, there is no intrinsic arrow of time, distinguishing the future from the past.
  • In the late twentieth century, an arrow of time may have been discovered at the subatomic level.
  • There was a conference on Wheeler Feynman electrodynamics and the arrow of time, in 1963.

straight as an arrow

Perfectly straight, with no deviation.
Example sentences
  • There was one perfect crack that was in varying girth, but straight as an arrow.
  • He wore his hair short to the skull with a narrow, little part shaved up one side straight as an arrow, and he had a pencil-thin mustache, like Errol Flynn, folds in the back of his neck like fat pleats, and beady black rat eyes.
  • Kat continued straight as an arrow on her course.



Example sentences
  • Near the end of March, 1845, I borrowed an axe and went down to the woods by Walden Pond, nearest to where I intended to build my house, and began to cut down some tall, arrowy white pines, still in their youth, for timber.
  • After a long ramble through the dense encumbered woods I emerged upon a smooth meadow full of sunshine like a lake of light, about a mile and a half long, a quarter to half a mile wide, and bounded by tall arrowy pines.


Old English arewe, arwe, from Old Norse.

  • This is from Old Norse, but is only indirectly the source of the plant called arrowroot (late 17th century). The tubers of this Caribbean plant were used to absorb poison from arrow wounds. The word is an alteration of Arawak aru-aru (literally ‘meal of meals’) to conform with the more familiar words arrow and root.

Words that rhyme with arrow

barrow, farrow, harrow, Jarrow, marrow, narrow, sparrow, taro, tarot, Varro, yarrow

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ar·row

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