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a slender, straight, generally pointed missile or weapon made to be shot from a bow and equipped with feathers at the end of the shaft near the nock, for controlling flight.
anything resembling an arrow in form, function, or character.
a linear figure having a wedge-shaped end, as one used on a map or architectural drawing, to indicate direction or placement.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Sagitta.
to indicate the proper position of (an insertion) by means of an arrow (often followed by in):
to arrow in a comment between the paragraphs.
Kenneth Joseph, born 1921, U.S. economist: Nobel Prize 1972.
Contemporary Examples

At least one buffalo head had an arrow tip still lodged in it.
Clues for Finding Forrest Fenn’s Buried Treasure, Part 2 Tony Doukopil March 2, 2013

“When you fired your arrow at the force field, you electrified a nation,” President Coin (Julianne Moore) tells her.
‘Mockingjay—Part 1’ Is the Most Violent ‘Hunger Games’ Yet Kevin Fallon November 19, 2014

With the firing of the first arrow, the financial markets and the underlying economy have begun to react.
Japan’s Fiscal Crossroads: Will Abenomics Mean Tougher Changes? Daniel Gross July 25, 2013

It is funny, I am carrying $20,000 worth of gear, but I whip out my iPhone to take a picture of an arrow on the ground.
Newseum’s ‘The Eyes of History’ With Photographer Charles Dharapak Andy Jacobsohn September 29, 2012

You introduced a pre-Flash Barry Allen during an arrow two-parter last season.
The TV Superhero Guru Behind ‘The Flash’ Jason Lynch October 5, 2014

Historical Examples

He spoke the truth, as you will know if you have read that other book, The arrow of Fire.
Riddle of the Storm Roy J. Snell

He thought that the arrow in her hands had been shot through him.
The Children of Odin Padraic Colum

Scarce had one arrow taken flight before another was in the bow.
Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi John S. C. Abbott

It is a piece of wood with a projection at the end, in which the base of the arrow is secured.
The Western World W.H.G. Kingston

A tomahawk gleamed just beyond them and at the same instant an arrow grazed the girl’s left arm.
The Shadow of Victory Myrtle Reed

a long slender pointed weapon, usually having feathers fastened at the end as a balance, that is shot from a bow related adjective sagittal
any of various things that resemble an arrow in shape, function, or speed, such as a sign indicating direction or position

early 14c., from Old English arwan, earlier earh “arrow,” possibly borrowed from Old Norse ör (genitive örvar), from Proto-Germanic *arkhwo (cf. Gothic arhwanza), from PIE root *arku- “bow and/or arrow,” source of Latin arcus (see arc (n.)). The ground sense would be “the thing belonging to the bow,” perhaps a superstitious avoidance of the actual name.

A rare word in Old English, where more common words for “arrow” were stræl (cognate with the word still common in Slavic, once prevalent in Germanic, too; meaning related to “flash, streak”) and fla, flan, a North Germanic word, perhaps originally with the sense of “splinter.” Stræl disappeared by 1200; fla lingered in Scottish until after 1500. Meaning “a mark like an arrow in cartography, etc.” is from 1834.

Related Terms

straight arrow


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    the head or tip of an arrow, usually separable from the shaft and conventionally wedge-shaped. anything resembling or having the conventional shape of an arrowhead. Also called swamp potato. any aquatic or bog plant of the genus Sagittaria, having usually arrowhead-shaped leaves and clusters of white flowers. any of several other plants having arrowhead-shaped leaves. […]

  • Arrowroot

    a tropical American plant, Maranta arundinacea, the rhizomes of which yield a nutritious starch. the starch itself. any of several other plants yielding a similar starch. the starch of these plants, used in cooking as a binder or thickener. Historical Examples To put the arrowroot into hot water spoils the effect which is desired. Boating […]

  • Arrow key

    arrow key hardware One of four keys on a keyboard marked with arrows pointing up, down, left and right. The arrow keys are used for such things as moving the cursor in a text document, for moving the input focus between the fields of a form or sometimes for scrolling a picture. (1998-06-26)

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