arc

1 of 5

noun

plural arcs
1
: the apparent path described above and below the horizon by a celestial body (such as the sun)
2
a
: 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

2 of 5

verb

arced ˈärkt How to pronounce arc (audio) ; arcing ˈär-kiŋ How to pronounce arc (audio)

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

3 of 5

adjective

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

ARC

4 of 5

abbreviation

1
AIDS-related complex
2
American Red Cross

ARC

5 of 5

abbreviation or noun

plural ARCs
: a copy of a printed work (such as a novel or textbook) sent as a promotion prior to the official release
First, I receive a box of paperback, smaller versions of my book called advance reader copies (ARCs).Susan Van Kirk
While some houses like Chronicle Books continued to sell on the show floor, albeit at 50% discount, many publishers offered free ARCsJudith Rosen

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Advertisement On defense, the Lakers saw Golden State to shoot 34 of 80 (42.5%) from the field and nine of 30 (30%) from beyond the arc. Anthony De Leon, Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2024 What Caldwell-Pope does well is defend at a high level and shoot the ball from beyond the arc in an efficient manner. Jason Beede, Orlando Sentinel, 7 July 2024
Verb
Some players think the tall pitchers have an advantage, while some of them complained about a large light fixture getting in the way of their high, arcing shots. Abbey Mastracco, New York Daily News, 16 Mar. 2024 Among the first structures found were confirmations of stars arcing through the halo in streams that were born together and still travel as one. Ann Finkbeiner, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for arc 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arc.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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)

Abbreviation or noun

advanced reader copy

First Known Use

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

Abbreviation Or Noun

2006, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near arc

Cite this Entry

“Arc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arc. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

arc

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: something curved
b
: a curved path
2
: a glowing flow of electricity across a gap in a circuit or between electrodes
3
: a continuous portion of a curved line (as part of the circumference of a circle)

arc

2 of 2 verb
1
: to form an electric arc
2
: to follow an arc-shaped course

Medical Definition

arc

1 of 2 noun
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

ARC

2 of 2 abbreviation
1
AIDS-related complex
2
American Red Cross

More from Merriam-Webster on arc

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