arrow

noun
ar·​row | \ ˈer-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce arrow (audio) , ˈa-(ˌ)rō \
plural arrows

Definition of arrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a missile shot from a bow and usually having a slender shaft, a pointed head, and feathers at the butt
2 : something shaped like an arrow especially : a mark (as on a map or signboard) to indicate direction
3 : a painful or damaging experience or occurrence that is likened to being shot with an arrow … to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune …— William Shakespeare

arrow

verb
arrowed; arrowing; arrows

Definition of arrow (Entry 2 of 2)

1a intransitive : to move fast and straight like an arrow in flight Just below us, a hunting peregrine falcon arrowed across the sere fields …— Tom Mueller
b transitive : to hit or throw (something) toward a target fast and straight like an arrow Mia Hamm … doesn't even look up as she arrows a pass to her teammate with almost telepathic confidence.— David Hirshey
2 transitive, chiefly US : to shoot (an animal) with an arrow In the spring, only boy turkeys can be shot or arrowed.— Fred LeBrun

Illustration of arrow

Illustration of arrow

Noun

arrow 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of arrow in a Sentence

Noun The arrow on the map points north.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another javelina was found more than two weeks ago with an arrow in its face. Chelsea Curtis, The Arizona Republic, "Tucson officials free javelina from trap after nearly a week of searching," 31 Mar. 2021 Rose Leslie has landed the titular role in HBO’s adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife, bringing her back to the network that once killed her with an arrow through the chest. Devon Ivie, Vulture, "Rose Leslie Will Get All Timey-Wimey in HBO’s The Time Traveler’s Wife Series," 26 Feb. 2021 Click on the icon with an arrow in the top left of the map to view a list of locations. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Are you 75 or older? Here’s how to get signed up for the vaccine," 27 Jan. 2021 But at his shot, the deer jumped the stream and his arrow hit high. Beka Garris, Outdoor Life, "The 186-Inch Arkansas Longbow Buck with Seven Lives," 26 Nov. 2020 One police officer was shot through the leg with an arrow. Timothy Mclaughlin, Wired, "Hong Kong Is a Troubling Case Study in the Death of Democracy," 17 Sep. 2020 But, five days after arriving, Loftus drew an arrow in her diary that pointed to a smudge on the page. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "How Elizabeth Loftus Changed the Meaning of Memory," 29 Mar. 2021 Each trigger is adaptive, says Sony, and will generate tension depending on the action, such as pulling back a bow before firing an arrow or pushing down on a spring before its release. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "PlayStation VR: These are the new controllers for Sony's virtual reality platform," 18 Mar. 2021 The Thin Blue Line used reconstructed a crime and re-examine an injustice with actors, the ability to use recreations of events has been one more arrow in a documentarian’s quiver. David Fear, Rolling Stone, "‘Operation Varsity Blues’: Netflix Doc Lays Out a Scandal, One Recreation at a Time," 17 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Video captured McCormick in an argument with some protesters, and showed him getting a bow and arrow out of his car and pointing it at several people. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Man who threatened protesters with a bow and arrow is sent to jail," 17 Nov. 2020 The steering tracks arrow straight, and the brakes inspire confidence with both a 184-foot stop from 70 mph and firm feel. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 Chevy Tahoe Z71 Goes Big Where It Counts," 10 Aug. 2020 Residents at Windsor Ridge in Jeffersonville are using Nerf guns and bow and arrow sets, miniature dart boards, a bowling set, remote-control cars and more during the pandemic to pass time. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Indiana nursing homes 'prepare for the worst' with residents more vulnerable to COVID-19," 31 Mar. 2020 However, the crowning moment was without doubt his third of the night, Messi parting Real like the red sea and arrowing a fierce shot beyond Iker Casillas. SI.com, "Lionel Messi: His 32 Greatest Moments on His 32nd Birthday," 24 June 2019 The Pope & Young Club world-record brown bear—shown here squabbling with a bald eagle that has stolen his breakfast—was arrowed in 2018 by the owner of Brush Country Studios, Chris Cammack. Ralph P. Stuart, Outdoor Life, "13 Amazing Animal Mounts," 6 Mar. 2020 On December 3rd, Strong arrowed a 5-½-year-old buck that grossed 152 inches. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "The Best Bucks of December 2019," 7 Jan. 2020 Picking up possession midway inside the Man Utd half, the Madrid number 11 took a few strides forward, shifted the ball onto his right foot, and unleashed a vicious effort which somehow curled, dipped and arrowed past Barthez. SI.com, "Ronaldo: Looking Back at 6 of he Brazilian's Most Iconic Moments on His Birthday," 18 Sep. 2019 Most players bring their own handcrafted two-piece sticks inside cases akin to arrow quiver bags. BostonGlobe.com, "In Malden, a billiards champion and his pool hall rack up a fervent following - The Boston Globe," 7 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arrow.' 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 arrow

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for arrow

Noun

Middle English arwe, arowe, going back to Old English earh (strong noun, probably neuter), arwe, arewe (weak feminine noun), going back to Germanic *arhwō- "arrow," presumably originally an adjectival derivative "belonging to the bow" (whence also Old Icelandic ǫr, genitive ǫrvar "arrow," and, with an additional suffix, Gothic arhwazna), going back to dialectal Indo-European *arkw- "bow," whence also Latin arcus "bow, rainbow, arch"

Note: See the Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, for details of the Old and Middle English developments. The editors point out that earh is a rare poetic word, occurring mainly in the compound earhfaru "flight of arrows," the more usual older words for "arrow" being strǣl and flā; the popularity of arwe in later Old English prose may have resulted from influence of the Old Norse word. — The etymon *arkw- "bow" (*h2erkw- if a is excluded as a possible vowel) has been compared with various names for plants, as Greek árkeuthos "juniper (Juniperus macrocarpa)," Russian rakíta (for *rokíta by vowel reduction) "the willow Salix fragilis," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian ràkita "osier (Salix viminalis)" (both from Slavic *orkyta), Latvian ẽrcis "juniper." The presumed connection would be from the use of wood from these small trees as material for bows, though this is questionable (especially in the case of willows). In any case both sets of words appear to be of substratal origin.

Verb

derivative of arrow entry 1

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Time Traveler for arrow

Time Traveler

The first known use of arrow was before the 12th century

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Statistics for arrow

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrow. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for arrow

arrow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of arrow

: a weapon that is made to be shot from a bow and that is usually a stick with a point at one end and feathers at the other end
: a mark (such as →) that is shaped like an arrow and that is used to show direction

arrow

noun
ar·​row | \ ˈer-ō How to pronounce arrow (audio) \

Kids Definition of arrow

1 : a weapon that is shot from a bow and is usually a stick with a point at one end and feathers at the other
2 : a mark to show direction Follow the arrows on the signs.

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Comments on arrow

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