UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈɑːrtʃ/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ɑrtʃ/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(ärch)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
arch1 /ɑrtʃ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Architecturea curved construction over an opening.
  2. Architecturea doorway, gateway, or opening having a curved head;
  3. anything bowed or curved like an arch:the arch of the foot.

  1. to form (into) an arch: [no object]The elms arched over the road.[~ + object]The cat arched its back as a warning.

arch2 /ɑrtʃ/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. crafty;
    mischievous or cunning:an arch little grin.
  2. chief;
    main:They were arch foes.
arch•ly, adv. 
arch•ness, n. [uncountable]

-arch-, root. 
  • -arch- comes from Greek, where it has the meaning "chief;
    ruler.'' This meaning is found in such words as: anarchy, archbishop, archdiocese, hierarchy, matriarch, monarch, monarchy, patriarch.
  • -arch- is also used to form nouns that refer to persons who are the most important, most notable, or the most extreme examples of (the following noun): archenemy (= the most important enemy);
    archconservative (= the most extreme example of a conservative).
  • -arch- also appears with the meaning "first, earliest, original, oldest in time.'' This meaning is found in such words as: archaeology, archaic, archaism, archetype.

  • arch.,  an abbreviation of:
    1. archaic.
    2. Architecturearchitect.
    3. Architecturearchitecture.

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
    arch1  (ärch),USA pronunciation n. 
    1. Architecture
      • Architecturea curved masonry construction for spanning an opening, consisting of a number of wedgelike stones, bricks, or the like, set with the narrower side toward the opening in such a way that forces on the arch are transmitted as vertical or oblique stresses on either side of the opening.
      • Architecturean upwardly curved construction, as of steel or timber functioning in the manner of a masonry arch.
      • Architecturea doorway, gateway, etc., having a curved head;
        an archway.
      • Architecturethe curved head of an opening, as a doorway.
    2. any overhead curvature resembling an arch.
    3. something bowed or curved;
      any bowlike part:the arch of the foot.
    4. Clothinga device inserted in or built into shoes for supporting the arch of the foot.
    5. Civil Engineeringa dam construction having the form of a barrel vault running vertically with its convex face toward the impounded water.
    6. Ceramics[Glassmaking.]
      • a chamber or opening in a glassmaking furnace.
      • See  pot arch. 

    1. to cover with a vault, or span with an arch:the rude bridge that arched the flood.
    2. to throw or make into the shape of an arch or vault;
      curve:The horse arched its neck.

    1. to form an arch:elms arching over the road.
    2. Nautical, Naval Termshog (def. 16).
    • Vulgar Latin *arca, feminine variant of Latin arcus arc
    • Old French arche
    • Middle English arch(e) 1250–1300

    arch2  (ärch),USA pronunciation adj. 
    1. playfully roguish or mischievous:an arch smile.
    2. cunning;

    1. [Obs.]a person who is preeminent;
      a chief.
    • independent use of arch-1

    arch-1 : 
  • a combining form that represents the outcome of  archi- in words borrowed through Latin from Greek in the Old English period;
    it subsequently became a productive form added to nouns of any origin, which thus denote individuals or institutions directing or having authority over others of their class (archbishop;
    ). More recently,  arch- 1 has developed the senses "principal'' (archenemy;
    ) or "prototypical'' and thus exemplary or extreme (archconservative);
    nouns so formed are almost always pejorative.
    • Greek. Cf. archangel
    • Medieval Latin arci-, and Gothic ark- directly
    • Greek (see archi-); but Dutch aarts-, Middle Low German erse-, Middle High German, German Erz-
    • Latin archi-
    • Old English arce-, ærce-, erce- ( Old Norse erki-) Middle English

    arch-2 : 
  • var. of  archi- before a vowel:archangel; archenteron.

  • -arch, 
  • a combining form meaning "chief, leader, ruler,'' used in the formation of compound words:monarch;matriarch;heresiarch.
    • Greek -archos or -archēs, as comb. forms of árchos leader; compare archi-

  • Archbishop.

  • arch., 
    1. archaic.
    2. archaism.
    3. Sportarchery.
    4. archipelago.
    5. Architecturearchitect.
    6. Architecturearchitectural.
    7. Architecturearchitecture.
    8. archive;

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    arch /ɑːtʃ/ n
    1. a curved structure, normally in the vertical plane, that spans an opening
    2. Also called: archway a structure in the form of an arch that serves as a gateway
    3. something curved like an arch
    4. any of various parts or structures of the body having a curved or archlike outline, such as the transverse portion of the aorta (arch of the aorta) or the raised bony vault formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones (arch of the foot)
    5. one of the basic patterns of the human fingerprint, formed by several curved ridges one above the other
    1. (transitive) to span (an opening) with an arch
    2. to form or cause to form an arch or a curve resembling that of an arch
    3. (transitive) to span or extend over
    Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French arche, from Vulgar Latin arca (unattested), from Latin arcus bow, arc
    arch /ɑːtʃ/ adj
    1. (prenominal) chief; principal; leading: his arch rival
    2. (prenominal) very experienced; expert: an arch criminal
    3. knowing or superior
    4. playfully or affectedly roguish or mischievous
    Etymology: 16th Century: independent use of arch-

    ˈarchly adv ˈarchness n
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
    1. a combining form with the general sense "first, principal,'' that is prefixed to nouns denoting things that are earliest, most basic, or bottommost (archiblast;
      or denoting individuals who direct or have authority over others of their class, usually named by the base noun (archimandrite;
    Also,[esp. before a vowel,] arch-. Cf.  arch- 1,  arche-. 
    • Greek, combining form akin to arché̄ beginning, árchos leader, árchein to be the first, command

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    -arch n combining form
    1. leader; ruler; chief: patriarch, monarch, heresiarch
    Etymology: from Greek -arkhēs, from arkhein to rule; compare arch-
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    arch-, archi- combining form
    1. chief; principal; of highest rank
    2. eminent above all others of the same kind; extreme
    Etymology: ultimately from Greek arkhi-, from arkhein to rule
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    arch. abbreviation for
    1. archaic
    2. archaism
    'arch' also found in these entries:
    Collocations: need [a lot of, more] arch support, has too much arch support (for my feet), [high, moderate] arch support, more...

    Forum discussions with the word(s) "arch" in the title:

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