Geometry. any unbroken part of the circumference of a circle or other curved line.
Also called electric arc. Electricity. a luminous bridge formed in a gap between two electrodes.
Compare 1 (def 2).
Astronomy. the part of a circle representing the apparent course of a heavenly body.
anything bow-shaped.
to form an .
to move in a curve suggestive of an arc.
Historical Examples

It arced through the sunlight, went spinning down, became a dot, its screaming faded.
Raiders Invisible Desmond Winter Hall

He didn’t even see the fist that arced upward and smashed into his jaw.
By Proxy Gordon Randall Garrett

Dennis roared again, pushed away and arced the knife at his throat.
Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman

John Andrew yelled at him as he arced forward, but it was too late.
Stairway to the Stars Larry Shaw

As it rose, it grew perceptibly larger, to dwindle again as it arced over the western horizon.
Astounding Stories, July, 1931 Various

The Nipe arced backwards in a half-somersault and landed flat on his back.
Anything You Can Do Gordon Randall Garrett

Above the sun it arced its way into the heavens in the direction in which they knew Mars lay.
Giants on the Earth Sterner St. Paul Meek

It arced over the bare strip between the two armies and fell in the Tartar mass without result that he could see.
The Saracen: Land of the Infidel Robert Shea

The scout ship responded like a nervous horse and fluttered away as the rocket burned and arced beneath the underbelly.
The Sex Life of the Gods Michael Knerr

The Nipe arced backward in a half somersault and landed flat on his back.
Anything You Can Do … Gordon Randall Garrett

something curved in shape
part of an unbroken curved line
a luminous discharge that occurs when an electric current flows between two electrodes or any other two surfaces separated by a small gap and a high potential difference
(astronomy) a circular section of the apparent path of a celestial body
(maths) a section of a curve, graph, or geometric figure
verb arcs, arcing, arced, arcs, arcking, arcked
(intransitive) to form an arc
(maths) specifying an inverse trigonometric function: usually written arcsin, arctan, arcsec, etc, or sometimes sin–1, tan–1, sec–1, etc
AIDS-related complex: an early condition in which a person infected with the AIDS virus may suffer from such mild symptoms as loss of weight, fever, etc

late 14c., originally in reference to the sun’s apparent motion in the sky, from Old French arc “bow, arch, vault” (12c.), from Latin arcus “a bow, arch,” from PIE root *arku- “bowed, curved” (cf. Gothic arhvazna “arrow,” Old English earh, Old Norse ör; also, via notion of “supple, flexible,” Greek arkeuthos, Latvian ercis “juniper,” Russian rakita, Czech rokyta, Serbo-Croatian rakita “brittle willow”). Electrical sense is from 1821.

1893, in the electrical sense, from arc (n.). Meaning “to move in an arc” attested by 1954. Related: Arced; arcing.

arc (ärk)
A curved line or segment of a circle.

ARC abbr.
AIDS-related complex

A segment of a circle.

See electric arc.

Addiction Research Center
advance readers copy
AIDS-related complex
amateur radio club
American Red Cross
[National Aeronautics and Space Administration] Ames Research Center
Appalachian Regional Commission


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