arc

noun
\ ˈärk How to pronounce arc (audio) \
plural arcs

Definition of arc

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : the apparent path described above and below the horizon by a celestial body (such as the sun)
2a : something arched or curved
b : a curved path the arc of a fly ball
c basketball : three-point line At week's end he was shooting 40.0% from behind the arc and averaging 19.6 points.— Phil Taylor
3 : a sustained luminous discharge of electricity across a gap in a circuit or between electrodes also : arc lamp
4 : a continuous portion (as of a circle or ellipse) of a curved line
5 : degree measurement on the circumference of a circle used especially in the phrase of arc 11 minutes 3 seconds of arc
6 : a continuous progression or line of development a story's dramatic arc

arc

verb
arced\ ˈärkt How to pronounce arced (audio) \; arcing\ ˈär-​kiŋ How to pronounce arcing (audio) \

Definition of arc (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to form an electric arc (see arc entry 1 sense 3)
2 : to follow an arc-shaped course The ball arced across the sky.

transitive verb

: to throw, hit, or kick (something, such as a ball) on a high, arc-shaped course After driving into the long rough, he reached for a 4-wood and arced the ball just wide of the green.— Jeff Shain

arc

adjective

Definition of arc (Entry 3 of 4)

mathematics
: inverse sense 2 used with the trigonometric functions and hyperbolic functions

Definition of ARC (Entry 4 of 4)

1 AIDS-related complex
2 American Red Cross

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Synonyms & Antonyms for arc

Synonyms: Noun

angle, arch, bend, bow, crook, curvature, curve, inflection, turn, wind

Synonyms: Verb

arch, bend, bow, crook, curve, fall off, hook, round, sweep, swerve, trend, wheel

Antonyms: Verb

straighten

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Examples of arc in a Sentence

Noun

He bent the twig into an arc. The ball floated in a high arc.

Verb

The arrow arced through the air. A light arced across the sky. The island chain arcs from north to south.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The arc of MarCO’s antenna stretches to one side, and the curve of Mars firmly centered. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Fitzner shot 40 percent from behind the arc last season — a number better than any posted by an IU player last winter — and that 40 percent was actually his career low. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball lands 3-point shooting big man grad transfer," 3 May 2018 But Evanston was the team that really put on a shooting clinic from beyond the arc. Bob Narang, Lake County News-Sun, "Evanston's long-range accuracy too much for Lake Zurich to overcome in supersectional loss," 15 Mar. 2018 The Senegal midfielder passed to Gueye, whose right-footed shot from the arc headed toward Szczesny's far post. Ronald Blum, chicagotribune.com, "Senegal beats Poland 2-1 for first African win at 2018 World Cup," 19 June 2018 That season Green shot .388 from the arc in the regular season, and .365 in the playoffs. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Thank Trump for overcoming the biggest obstacle to 2026 World Cup: Trump," 16 June 2018 Capela, though not as accomplished as Rudy Gobert, has had much more success in this series tracking smaller players from the arc to the paint. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Clint Capela Has Emerged as Houston's Not-So-Secret Weapon," 6 May 2018 When Steph Curry injured his knee, Cook stepped in and started 18 games, averaged 14.6 points and shooting 47 percent from the three-point arc. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors’ Quinn Cook best of friends with enemy coach," 26 Apr. 2018 In his career, Korver has taken more than 60 percent of his field goal attempts from behind the 3-point arc. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers 2018: Did Kyle Korver's threes save season? -- Bill Livingston (photos)," 24 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The evening ends with similar impact, as the full company’s arcing paths of running dancers circuit the stage, at times suggesting a whirlpool, before looping out as a whiplash of punctuation. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘The Six Brandenburg Concertos’ Review: Falling Short of Bach," 5 Oct. 2018 On a recent afternoon at Soho Rep, a welder sent sparks arcing past a dressing room strewn with metal bars and twin vises holding lengths of steam pipe. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "A Safer Home for Dangerous Plays," 31 Jan. 2018 Nigeria's 19-year-old stopper was the difference between his side and a much harsher scoreline at half-time, also managing to get his fingertips to Messi's arcing free kick to tip it onto the post. SI.com, "Nigeria 1-2 Argentina: Late Show By Rojo Sees La Albiceleste Sneak Into Knockout Stages of World Cup," 26 June 2018 The flight of the ball defied belief, arcing over the Chelsea defence and crashing into the net off the underside of the crossbar - an unstoppable effort by anyone's standards. SI.com, "6 of the Best Moments From a Potentially Decisive Weekend of Premier League Action," 2 Apr. 2018 Before us is the gentle slope of the South Downs, a range of hills that arc from Hampshire, to the west, across 250 miles to Eastbourne and the sea. Bruce Schoenfeld, WSJ, "English Wine Discovers Its New Sparkle," 5 Dec. 2018 On one play Sunday, Abby Dahlkemper arced a pass from beyond midfield on the right side to Rapinoe streaking along the left. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Rock Star U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Makes World Cup," 15 Oct. 2018 Racket movements that should have easily resulted in high-arcing lobs often resulted into low shots over the net, for instance, without much rhyme or reason. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hands-on: Oculus Quest is an intriguing new middle ground for VR," 27 Sep. 2018 But the ball dropped perfectly back to Mertens, whose volley from the right side of the box arced into the far corner. Andy Scott, chicagotribune.com, "Lukaku scores twice as Belgium prove too strong for Panama," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arc.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arc

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1949, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arc

Noun and Verb

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

Adjective

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

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Learn More about arc

Dictionary Entries near arc

Arbuthnot

arbutus

arbutus pink

arc

ARC

arca

Arcacea

Statistics for arc

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arc

The first known use of arc was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for arc

arc

noun

English Language Learners Definition of arc

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a line or shape that is curved like part of a circle
technical : a brightly glowing electric current that flows across an open space between two points (such as two electrodes)

arc

verb

English Language Learners Definition of arc (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move or lie in a curving path : to follow an arc-shaped course
technical : to form an electric arc

arc

noun
\ ˈärk How to pronounce arc (audio) \

Kids Definition of arc

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a glowing light across a gap in an electric circuit or between electrodes
2 : a part of a curved line between any two points on it

arc

verb
arced\ ˈärkt \; arcing\ ˈär-​kiŋ \

Kids Definition of arc (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to form an electric arc
2 : to follow a curved course A missile arced across the sky.

arc

noun
\ ˈärk How to pronounce arc (audio) \

Medical Definition of arc

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an arched or curved anatomical part, distance, or pathway — see reflex arc
2 : a sustained luminous discharge of electricity across a gap in a circuit or between electrodes

Medical Definition of ARC (Entry 2 of 2)

1 AIDS-related complex
2 American Red Cross

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More from Merriam-Webster on arc

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arc

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arc

Spanish Central: Translation of arc

Nglish: Translation of arc for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arc for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about arc

Comments on arc

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