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 nuts and bolts of cranking out hits was part of what the legendary label imparted to songwriters — the melodic arc of a chorus, the tension and release of a hook, the logic and compression of a lyric. John Adamian, courant.com, "Songwriter Jimmy Webb performing at the Kate," 19 July 2019 Elwood is a dreamer stubbornly clinging to an optimistic vision of the arc of justice. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Colson Whitehead Is One of the Finest Novelists in America," 12 July 2019 Now, of course, tons of female characters stand up for themselves without making it some sort of heroic character arc. Farah Joan Fard, Marie Claire, "After 30 Years, We Still Owe Elaine From 'Seinfeld' So Much," 2 July 2019 Seen from the sky, its most commanding feature is an arc of some 20 pyramids built between 650 B.C. and 300 B.C. that appear strung together like gems on a delicate necklace. Kristin Romey, National Geographic, "Dive beneath the pyramids of Egypt’s black pharaohs," 2 July 2019 Midway through last night’s sixth and deciding game of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Toronto Raptors’ star forward Kawhi Leonard sized things up from the top of the three-point arc. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The Toronto Raptors Were Ready," 14 June 2019 The Islamic State recruited more than 40,000 foreign fighters and their families from 80 countries over its quick arc from expansion to collapse, from 2014 until this year. Andrew E. Kramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Kazakhstan welcomes women back from the Islamic State, warily," 10 Aug. 2019 Her arc is far more lurid than Kathy’s behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, and Berloff can’t get the two tones to co-exist; dozens of transitions in The Kitchen are jarring as a result. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Kitchen Can’t Figure Out What Kind of Gangster Film It Is," 9 Aug. 2019 Chester’s father, Henry (Shingo Usami), has his own harrowing arc, drawn from experiences of first-generation Japanese immigrants, or Issei. Los Angeles Times, "For Japanese Americans, ‘The Terror’ is personal," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Winston’s only miss was an arcing bomb to Breshad Perriman that was a few yards too long. Rick Stroud, orlandosentinel.com, "A lot to like in Bucs’ preseason opener, even if it came against Steelers’ backups," 10 Aug. 2019 Our creator Sam [Levinson] really wanted to propel the character arcs forward by showcasing the makeup as a whole new freedom of self-expression. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How Euphoria’s Lead Makeup Artist Sparked a Gen-Z Beauty Movement," 1 Aug. 2019 Related Stories Carr arced one throw along the left sideline to receiver Tyrell Williams, the 6-foot-4 target, who reached up for the contested catch. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders practice report: Carr goes deep on day one," 27 July 2019 State oil production has been steadily arcing downward since the mid-1980s, but California remains one of the nation’s top petroleum-producing — and gasoline-consuming — states. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "A major Kern County oil spill in environmentally conscious California," 17 July 2019 The goal gave the Thorns a 3-1 lead, but that only lasted two minutes as Marta drove up the left flank and powered in a shot that chipped off of Emily Menges and arced into the net. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride fall 4-3 on road against Portland Thorns despite late rally," 15 July 2019 To find these jewels, these four mathematicians used an elegant set of methods that allow mathematicians to reimagine the claustrophobic, rebounding world of a billiard table as an elegant universe of smooth curves arcing unimpeded through space. Quanta Magazine, "New Shapes Solve Infinite Pool-Table Problem," 8 Aug. 2017 Yet his trip on golf's slippery ladder arced invariably upward, beginning with ACC freshman of the year honors, not to mention a way with kids reflected in being perennially voted best counselor by tykes at Florida State's golf camps. Chuck Culpepper, courant.com, "Brooks Koepka never got lost on his long winding road to the top of the golf world," 10 June 2019 In the Brexit referendum, sixty-one per cent of voters in Weymouth and Portland were in favor of leaving the E.U. When Liebling visited, there were families were making a day of it on the beach, which arcs in a semicircle around the bay. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A D Day Journey in the Spirit of A. J. Liebling," 7 June 2019

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

27 Aug 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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