arrearage (n.)
"unpaid debt," early 14c., from Old French arierage "detriment, prejudice (in a legal sense)" (Modern French arrérage), from arere "behind;" see arrears.
arrears (n.)
mid-14c., "in times past," from Old French ariere "behind, backward," from Vulgar Latin *ad retro, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + retro "behind" (see retro-). Meaning "balance due" dates from early 15c.; phrase in arrears first recorded 1610s, but in arrearages is from late 14c.
arrest (v.)
"to cause to stop," also "to detain legally," late 14c., from Old French arester "to stay, stop" (Modern French arrêter), from Vulgar Latin *arrestare (source of Italian arrestare, Spanish and Portuguese arrestar), from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + restare "to stop, remain behind, stay back" (see rest (n.2)). Figurative sense of "to catch and hold" (the attention, etc.) is from 1814.
arrest (n.)
late 14c., from Anglo-French arest, Old French areste, from arester (see arrest (v.)).
arrested (adj.)
1610s, past participle adjective from arrest (v.). Arrested development is first recorded 1859 in evolutionary biology.
arresting (n.)
early 15c., "action of stopping" someone or something, verbal noun from arrest (v.).
arresting (adj.)
"striking, that captures the imagination," 1792, present participle adjective from arrest (v.).
arrhythmic (adj.)
1853, "without rhythm," in relation to musical sensibility, Modern Latin, from Greek arrhythmos "irregular, unrhythmical, without measure," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + rhythmos (see rhythm). Medical arrhythmia "irregularity of pulse" is attested from 1888, from Greek noun of action from arrhythmos. Related: Arrhythmically.
arrival (n.)
late 14c., from Anglo-French arrivaille, from Old French arriver (see arrive). Arrivage (late 14c.) also was used.
arrive (v.)
c.1200, "reach land, reach the end of a journey by sea," from Anglo-French ariver, Old French ariver (11c.) "to come to land," from Vulgar Latin *arripare "to touch the shore," from Latin ad ripam "to the shore," from ad "to" (see ad-) + ripa "shore" (see riparian). The original notion is of coming ashore after a long voyage. Of journeys other than by sea, from late 14c. Sense of "to come to a position or state of mind" is from late 14c. Related: Arrived; arriving.
arriviste (n.)
"pushy, ambitious person," 1901, from French arriviste, from arriver "to arrive" (see arrive). The notion is of a person intent on "arriving" at success or in society.
arrogance (n.)
c.1300, from Old French arrogance (12c.), from Latin arrogantia, from arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + rogare "ask, propose" (see rogation).
arrogant (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French arrogant (14c.), from Latin arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of arrogare (see arrogance). Related: Arrogantly.
arrogate (v.)
1530s, from Latin arrogatus, past participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself" (see arrogance). Related: Arrogated; arrogating.
arrogation (n.)
1580s, from Latin arrogationem (nominative arrogatio), noun of action from past participle stem of arrogare "to claim for oneself" (see arrogance).
arrondissement (n.)
1807, "administrative subdivision of a French department," from French, literally "a rounding," from stem of arrondir "to make round," from a- "to" (see ad-) + rond "round" (see round (adj.)).
arrow (n.)
early 14c., from Old English arwan, earlier earh "arrow," possibly borrowed from Old Norse ör (genitive örvar), from Proto-Germanic *arkhwo (cognates: 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.
arrowhead (n.)
late 15c., from arrow + head (n.). Ancient ones dug up were called elf-arrows (17c.).
arrowroot (n.)
1690s, from arrow + root (n.). So called because it was used to absorb toxins from poison-dart wounds.
arroyo (n.)
"watercourse, dry streambed," 1845, a California word, from American Spanish, in Spanish, "rivulet, small stream," from Latin arrugia "shaft or pit in a gold mine," apparently a compound of ad- "to" (see ad-) + ruga "a wrinkle" (see rough (adj.)).
arse (n.)
"buttocks," Old English ærs "tail, rump," from Proto-Germanic *arsoz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse ars, Middle Dutch ærs, German Arsch "buttock"), from PIE root *ors- "buttock, backside" (cognates: Greek orros "tail, rump, base of the spine," Hittite arrash, Armenian or "buttock," Old Irish err "tail"). Middle English had arse-winning "money obtained by prostitution" (late 14c.).
arsehole (n.)
c.1400, arce-hoole; see arse + hole (n.). In Old English, Latin anus was glossed with earsðerl, literally "arse-thrill."
arsenal (n.)
c.1500, "dockyard, dock with naval stores," from Italian arzenale, from Arabic dar as-sina'ah "workshop," literally "house of manufacture," from dar "house" + sina'ah "art, craft, skill," from sana'a "he made."

Applied by the Venetians to a large wharf in their city, which was the earliest reference of the English word. Sense of "public place for making or storing weapons and ammunition" is from 1570s. The London football club (1886) was named for the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, where the original players worked.
arsenic (n.)
late 14c., from Old French arsenic, from Latin arsenicum, from late Greek arsenikon "arsenic" (Dioscorides; Aristotle has it as sandarake), adapted from Syriac (al) zarniqa "arsenic," from Middle Persian zarnik "gold-colored" (arsenic trisulphide has a lemon-yellow color), from Old Iranian *zarna- "golden," from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives referring to bright materials and gold (see glass).

The form of the Greek word is folk etymology, literally "masculine," from arsen "male, strong, virile" (compare arseno-koites "lying with men" in New Testament) supposedly in reference to the powerful properties of the substance. The mineral (as opposed to the element) is properly orpiment, from Latin auri pigmentum, so called because it was used to make golden dyes.
arson (n.)
1670s, from Anglo-French arsoun (late 13c.), Old French arsion, from Late Latin arsionem (nominative arsio) "a burning," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow" (see ash (n.1)). The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke has indictment of burning (1640).
arsonist (n.)
1864, from arson + -ist.
arsy-versy (adv.)
"backside foremost," 1530s, probably a reduplication from arse, perhaps with suggestions from reverse.
art (n.)
early 13c., "skill as a result of learning or practice," from Old French art (10c.), from Latin artem (nominative ars) "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft," from PIE *ar-ti- (cognates: Sanskrit rtih "manner, mode;" Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare;" Latin artus "joint;" Armenian arnam "make;" German art "manner, mode"), from root *ar- "fit together, join" (see arm (n.1)).

In Middle English usually with a sense of "skill in scholarship and learning" (c.1300), especially in the seven sciences, or liberal arts. This sense remains in Bachelor of Arts, etc. Meaning "human workmanship" (as opposed to nature) is from late 14c. Sense of "cunning and trickery" first attested c.1600. Meaning "skill in creative arts" is first recorded 1610s; especially of painting, sculpture, etc., from 1660s. Broader sense of the word remains in artless.

Fine arts, "those which appeal to the mind and the imagination" first recorded 1767. Expression art for art's sake (1824) translates French l'art pour l'art. First record of art critic is from 1847. Arts and crafts "decorative design and handcraft" first attested in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in London, 1888.
Supreme art is a traditional statement of certain heroic and religious truths, passed on from age to age, modified by individual genius, but never abandoned. The revolt of individualism came because the tradition had become degraded, or rather because a spurious copy had been accepted in its stead. [William Butler Yeats]
art (v.)
second person present indicative of be; Old English eart. Also see are (v.).
art (adj.)
"produced with conscious artistry," as opposed to popular or folk, 1890, from art (n.), possibly from influence of German kunstlied "art song." E.g. art film (1960); art rock (1968).
art brut (n.)
art done by prisoners, lunatics, etc., 1955, French, literally "raw art" (see art (n.) + brute).
art deco
"decorative and architectural style of the period 1925-1940," attested from 1966, from French art décoratif, literally "decorative art" (see decorative); from L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris 1925.
art nouveau
first recorded 1901, French, literally "new art" (see novel (adj.)). Called in German Jugendstil.
Artaxerxes
Persian masc. proper name, in classical history, a son of Xerxes II, also a son of Darius, from Greek Artaxerxes (explained by Herodotus as "Great Warrior"), from Old Persian Artaxšaca, literally "having a kingdom of justice," from arta- "justice" + xšaca "kingdom."
artefact (n.)
older and alternative spelling of artifact (n.). Related: Artefactual; artefactually.
Artemis
Greek goddess of the moon, wild animals, hunting, childbirth, etc.; sister of Apollo; her name is of unknown origin.
arterial (adj.)
early 15c., from French artérial (Modern French artériel), from Latin arteria; see artery.
arterio-
word-forming element meaning "arterial," from Latinized comb. form of Greek arteria "windpipe; artery" (see artery).
arteriole (n.)
"small artery," by 1808, from Modern Latin arteriola, diminutive of arteria (see artery).
arteriosclerosis (n.)
"hardening of the arteries," 1885, medical Latin, from arterio- + sclerosis.
artery (n.)
late 14c., from Anglo-French arterie, Old French artaire (13c.; Modern French artère), and directly from Latin arteria, from Greek arteria "windpipe," also "an artery," as distinct from a vein; related to aeirein "to raise" (see aorta).

They were regarded by the ancients as air ducts because the arteries do not contain blood after death; medieval writers took them for the channels of the "vital spirits," and 16c. senses of artery in English include "trachea, windpipe." The word is used in reference to artery-like systems of major rivers from 1805; of railways from 1850.
artesian (adj.)
1830, from French puits artésien "wells of Artois," French province where such wells were first bored 18c. by French engineer Bernard Forest de Bélidor (1698-1761). The place name is from Old French Arteis, from Atrebates, a tribe that lived in northwestern Gallia. Compare Arras.
artesian well
see artesian
artful (adj.)
1610s, "learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts," also "characterized by technical skill," from art (n.) + -ful. Meaning "skilled in adapting means to ends" is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness.
arthralgia (n.)
"pain in a joint," 1848, from Greek arthron "joint" (see arm (n.1)) + -algia.
arthritic (adj.)
mid-14c., artetyk, "pertaining to arthritis," also as a noun, from Old French artetique (12c., Modern French arthritique), corresponding to Latin arthriticus, from Greek arthritikos, from arthron "joint" (see arm (n.1)). Spelling gradually restored to Latin form in 17c.
arthritis (n.)
"inflammation of a joint," 1540s, from medical Latin arthritis, from Greek (nosos) arthritis "(disease) of the joints," from arthritis, fem. of arthrites (adj.) "pertaining to joints" (Greek nosos is a fem. noun), from arthron "a joint" (see arm (n.1)).
arthro-
word-forming element meaning "pertaining to the joints," from Greek arthro- (before vowels arth-), comb. form of arthron "joint," from PIE *ar-dhro-, from *ar- "to fit together;" see arm (n.1).
arthropod (n.)
1877, from Modern Latin Arthropoda, literally "those with jointed feet," biological classification of the phylum of segmented, legged invertebrates; see Arthropoda.
Arthropoda (n.)
1870, Modern Latin, literally "those with jointed feet," coined 1845 by German zoologist Karl Theodor Ernst von Siebold (1804-1885) from Greek arthron "a joint" (see arthro-) + podos genitive of pous "foot" (see foot (n.)).