arc

noun
\ ˈärk \
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 \; arcing\ ˈär-​kiŋ \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Curry made 10 3-pointers on Saturday night, moving him past Utah’s Kyle Korver for fourth on the NBA career list from beyond the arc; Curry has 2,277, while Korver has 2,274 entering Monday. Tim Reynolds, The Seattle Times, "After further review, the NBA needs to change its policy," 7 Jan. 2019 By the Bulls’ fourth game Wednesday against the Mavericks, Ingram seemed to find more of an offensive rhythm, hitting 3 of 6 from beyond the arc and finishing with 13 points, four assists and two rebounds. Malika Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "Donte Ingram is showcasing his game for Bulls' Summer League team while looking for his next gig," 13 July 2018 To make matters worse, Melo went cold from three, shooting only 19% when spotted up beyond the arc. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "With His OKC Era Waning, Carmelo Anthony Must Pick Between Two Clear Free-Agency Paths," 6 July 2018 This influences the arc of play, and the game achieves a sense of climax superior to its predecessors. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Arkham Horror Third Edition: The classic Lovecraft adventure returns," 24 Nov. 2018 Lucasfilm has that larger arc, begun with The Force Awakens, continued in The Last Jedi, and set to conclude in 2019 with Episode IX: The Real identities of Snoke and Rey. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Lucasfilm canceling its Boba Fett film could be good news for Star Wars’ future," 26 Oct. 2018 Instead of carving out crisp arcs, makeup artists and lovers, alike, are creating cloud-like shapes along the creases of their eyes. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Cloud Eye Makeup: How to Try the Viral Trend Taking Over Instagram," 31 Aug. 2018 This creates a higher arc during the summer months, making our days longer and hotter. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Summer solstice: What is it and why does it happen?," 20 June 2018 Below, take a look at XXXTentacion's career arc, from SoundCloud breakout artist to hip-hop star. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "A Timeline of XXXTentacion's Career, From Soundcloud Rapper to Hip-Hop Sensation," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Plus, teams were packing the box against Argentina, as shown by Messi’s eight blocked shots and his shot chart that arced around the heart of the penalty area. Paul Carr, SI.com, "Inside the Numbers of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup Past," 12 June 2018 The fountains were timed to the music in huge, arcing sprays of water set to the beat. Charlotte Wilder, SI.com, "In a Season to Remember, Las Vegas Knights Fans Experience The Agony of Defeat," 8 June 2018 Cruyff was a master of flicks, feints, impudent shots and passes that described arcing lines of beauty. The Economist, "When drama and beauty turn the World Cup into art," 7 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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arc

Dictionary Entries near arc

Arbuthnot

arbutus

arbutus pink

arc

ARC

arca

Arcacea

Statistics for arc

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arc

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

: 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

: to form an electric arc

arc

noun
\ ˈärk \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!