arch


1arch

noun \ˈärch\

: a usually curved part of a structure that is over an opening and that supports a wall or other weight above the opening

: the raised area on the bottom of the foot that is formed by a curved section of bones

: something that has a curved shape

Full Definition of ARCH

1
:  a typically curved structural member spanning an opening and serving as a support (as for the wall or other weight above the opening)
2
a :  something resembling an arch in form or function; especially :  either of two vaulted portions of the bony structure of the foot that impart elasticity to it
b :  a curvature having the form of an arch
3
:  archway

Examples of ARCH

  1. There was a slight arch to her eyebrows.
  2. an arch in the cat's back

Illustration of ARCH

Origin of ARCH

Middle English arche, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *arca, from Latin arcus — more at arrow
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Architecture Terms

buttress, casita, cornice, fanlight, garret, lintel, parapet, pilaster, plinth

Rhymes with ARCH

2arch

verb

: to bend into the shape of an arch

Full Definition of ARCH

transitive verb
1
:  to cover or provide with an arch
2
:  to form into an arch
intransitive verb
1
:  to form an arch
2
:  to take an arch-shaped course

Examples of ARCH

  1. The cat arched its back.
  2. She arched her eyebrows in surprise.
  3. A tree arches over the road.
  4. She arched backward to begin the exercise.

First Known Use of ARCH

15th century

3arch

adjective

: having or showing an amused feeling of being superior to or knowing more than other people

Full Definition of ARCH

1
:  principal, chief <your arch opponent>
2
a :  mischievous, saucy
b :  marked by a deliberate and often forced playfulness, irony, or impudence <known for her arch comments> <decided to answer them by being teacherly in a sort of arch, Olympian way — Gerald Early>
arch·ness noun

Examples of ARCH

  1. a politician known for his arch humor
  2. The novel is never mocking or arch in its tone.

Origin of ARCH

1arch-
First Known Use: 1547

4arch

abbreviation

Definition of ARCH

Other Architecture Terms

buttress, casita, cornice, fanlight, garret, lintel, parapet, pilaster, plinth

Arch

abbreviation

Definition of ARCH

Archbishop

arch

noun \ˈärch\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ARCH

1
: an anatomical structure that resembles an arch in form or function: as a : either of two vaulted portions of the bony structure of the foot that impart elasticity to it: (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 first row of tarsals and resulting from elevation of the central anterior portion of the median longitudinal arch b : arch of the aorta
2
: a fingerprint in which all the ridges run from side to side and make no backward turn

Illustration of ARCH

arch

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

The arch supports a vertical load primarily by axial compression of its wedge-shaped voussoirs. As …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Curved structure that spans the opening between two piers or columns and supports loads from above. The masonry arch provides the stepping stone from the post-and-beam system to the evolution of the vault, and was first widely used by the Romans. Its construction depends on a series of wedge-shaped blocks (voussoirs) set side by side in a semicircular curve or along two intersecting arcs (as in a pointed arch). The central voussoir is called the keystone, and the two points where the arch rests on its supports are known as the spring points. An arch can carry a much greater load than a horizontal beam of the same size and material, because downward pressure forces the voussoirs together instead of apart. The resulting outward thrust must be resisted by the arch's supports. Present-day lightweight monolithic (one-piece) arches of steel, concrete, or laminated wood are highly rigid, and thereby minimize horizontal thrust.

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