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.
Contemporary Examples

But for all my slings and arrows, I know for a fact that Donilon—more than any other Obama official—did good for our country.
Hats Off to Tom Donilon Leslie H. Gelb June 4, 2013

When Romney is licking his wounds on Nov. 7, that party and movement will fire all its arrows at him.
Michael Tomasky: Mitt Tells Voters in Video to Drop Dead Michael Tomasky September 17, 2012

Johnson, the parks service spokeswoman, said the department is also turning away from its original plan to use bows and arrows.
Crazy DC Protesters: Managing Deer Population Similar to Newtown Massacre, Crucifixion of Christ Justin Green March 28, 2013

As he rode away, the redheaded wildling filled her lover with three arrows, sparing his life.
Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie on Ygritte and Jon Snow’s Reunion at the Battle of Castle Black Marlow Stern June 9, 2014

On other arrows fired his way, I thought he deflected them pretty effectively.
Michael Tomasky on Santorum’s Gay Question in the Jan. 8 Debate Michael Tomasky January 7, 2012

Historical Examples

The bow and arrows were still there, the latter attached to its waist.
Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (Volumes I and II) Songling Pu

The points of the arrows are tipped with the deadly wourali or urali poison.
The Western World W.H.G. Kingston

The arrows are three feet long, formed of the same wood as the bows.
The Rifle and The Hound in Ceylon Samuel White Baker

They employed bows and arrows in battle, as also for fishing and killing game.
The Western World W.H.G. Kingston

Some went down towards the beach and shot with arrows at the Frenchmen.
The Virgin of the Sun H. R. Haggard

(functioning as sing) (Brit) an informal name for darts
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

At first made of reeds, and then of wood tipped with iron. Arrows are sometimes figuratively put for lightning (Deut. 32:23, 42; Ps. 7:13; 18:14; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They were used in war as well as in the chase (Gen. 27:3; 49:23). They were also used in divination (Ezek. 21:21). The word is frequently employed as a symbol of calamity or disease inflicted by God (Job 6:4; 34:6; Ps. 38:2; Deut. 32:23. Comp. Ezek. 5:16), or of some sudden danger (Ps. 91:5), or bitter words (Ps. 64:3), or false testimony (Prov. 25:18).

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