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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Arch'

Arch Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    arch adj
  1. (of persons) highest in rank or authority or office; "his arch rival" [syn: arch(a)]
  2. (used of behavior or attitude) characteristic of those who treat others with condescension [syn: condescending, patronizing, patronising]
  3. expert in skulduggery; "an arch criminal" [syn: arch(a)] n
  4. a curved shape in the vertical plane that spans an opening
  5. a curved bony structure supporting or enclosing organs (especially arches of the feet)
  6. a passageway under an arch [syn: archway]
  7. (architecture) a masonry construction (usually curved) for spanning an opening and supporting the weight above it v : form an arch or curve; "her back arches"; "her hips curve nicely" [syn: curve, arc]
Arch Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Arch \Arch\, n. [F. arche, fr. LL. arca, for arcus. See Arc.]
  1. (Geom.) Any part of a curved line.
  2. (Arch.) (a) Usually a curved member made up of separate wedge-shaped solids, with the joints between them disposed in the direction of the radii of the curve; used to support the wall or other weight above an opening. In this sense arches are segmental, round (i. e., semicircular), or pointed. (b) A flat arch is a member constructed of stones cut into wedges or other shapes so as to support each other without rising in a curve. Note: Scientifically considered, the arch is a means of spanning an opening by resolving vertical pressure into horizontal or diagonal thrust.
  3. Any place covered by an arch; an archway; as, to pass into the arch of a bridge.
  4. Any curvature in the form of an arch; as, the arch of the aorta. ``Colors of the showery arch.'' --Milton. Triumphal arch, a monumental structure resembling an arched gateway, with one or more passages, erected to commemorate a triumph.
Arch Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Arch \Arch\, n. [See Arch-, pref.] A chief. [Obs.] My worthy arch and patron comes to-night. --Shak.
    "-arch" web1913 "Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)" -arch \-arch\ [Gr. 'archo`s chief, commander, 'a`rchein to rule. See Arch, a.] A suffix meaning a ruler, as in monarch (a sole ruler).
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Arch'

An arch is a structure that spans a space while supporting weight (e.g. a doorway in a stone wall). Arches appeared as early as the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamian brick architecture and their systematic use started with the Ancient Romans who were the first to apply the technique to a wide range of structures.

The semicircular arch was followed in Europe by the pointed Gothic arch or ogive whose centreline more closely followed the forces of compression and which was therefore stronger. The semicircular arch can be flattened to make an elliptical arch as in the Ponte Santa Trinita. The parabolic and catenary arches are now known to be the theoretically strongest forms. Parabolic arches were introduced in construction by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, who admired the structural system of Gothic style, but for the buttresses, which he termed “architectural crutches”. The catenary and parabolic arches carry all horizontal thrust to the foundation and so do not need additional elements.

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