Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

arc

play
noun \ˈärk\

Simple Definition of arc

  • : a line or shape that is curved like part of a circle

  • : a brightly glowing electric current that flows across an open space between two points (such as two electrodes)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of arc

  1. 1 :  the apparent path described above and below the horizon by a celestial body (as the sun)

  2. 2 a :  something arched or curved b :  a curved path <the arc of a fly ball>

  3. 3 :  a sustained luminous discharge of electricity across a gap in a circuit or between electrodes; also :  arc lamp

  4. 4 :  a continuous portion (as of a circle or ellipse) of a curved line

  5. 5 :  degree measurement on the circumference of a circle —used especially in the phrase of arc <11 minutes 3 seconds of arc>

  6. 6 :  a continuous progression or line of development <a story's dramatic arc>

Examples of arc in a sentence

  1. He bent the twig into an arc.

  2. The ball floated in a high arc.



Origin and Etymology of arc

Middle English ark, from Anglo-French arc bow, from Latin arcus bow, arch, arc — more at arrow


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Electrical Engineering Terms


2

arc

verb

Simple Definition of arc

  • : to move or lie in a curving path : to follow an arc-shaped course

  • : to form an electric arc

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of arc

arced

play \ˈärkt\

arcing

play \ˈär-kiŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to form an electric arc

  3. 2 :  to follow an arc-shaped course

Examples of arc in a sentence

  1. The arrow arced through the air.

  2. A light arced across the sky.

  3. The island chain arcs from north to south.



1893

First Known Use of arc

1893

Other Electrical Engineering Terms


3

arc

adjective

Definition of arc

  1. :  inverse 2 —used with the trigonometric functions and hyperbolic functions



Origin and Etymology of arc

arc sine arc or angle (corresponding to the) sine (of so many degrees)


First Known Use: circa 1949

Rhymes with arc


ARC

abbreviation

Definition of ARC

  1. 1 AIDS-related complex

  2. 2 American Red Cross




ARC Defined for Kids

1

arc

play
noun \ˈärk\

Definition of arc for Students

  1. 1 :  a glowing light across a gap in an electric circuit or between electrodes

  2. 2 :  a part of a curved line between any two points on it




2

arc

play
verb

Definition of arc for Students

arced

\ˈärkt\

arcing

\ˈär-kiŋ\
  1. 1 :  to form an electric arc

  2. 2 :  to follow a curved course <A missile arced across the sky.>




Medical Dictionary

arc

play
noun \ˈärk\

Medical Definition of arc

  1. 1:  an arched or curved anatomical part, distance, or pathway—see reflex arc

  2. 2:  a sustained luminous discharge of electricity across a gap in a circuit or between electrodes




ARC

abbreviation

Medical Definition of ARC

  1. 1AIDS-related complex

  2. 2American Red Cross




Learn More about arc


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up arc? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

in the capacity or character of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

massive experimental formless frightening
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ