arms race (n.) Look up arms race at
1930, in reference to naval build-ups, from arms (see arm (n.2)) + race (n.1). First used in British English.
arms-length (n.) Look up arms-length at
1650s, from arm (n.1) + length. At arm's end is recorded from 1570s.
army (n.) Look up army at
late 14c., "armed expedition," from Old French armée (14c.) "armed troop, armed expedition," from Medieval Latin armata "armed force," from Latin armata, fem. of armatus "armed, equipped, in arms," past participle of armare "to arm," literally "act of arming," related to arma "tools, arms" (see arm (n.2)). Originally used of expeditions on sea or land; the specific meaning "land force" first recorded 1786. Transferred meaning "host, multitude" is c. 1500.

The Old English words were here (still preserved in derivatives like harrier), from PIE *kor- "people, crowd;" and fierd, with an original sense of "expedition," from faran "travel." In spite of etymology, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, here generally meant "invading Vikings" and fierd was used for the local militias raised to fight them.
arnica (n.) Look up arnica at
plant genus of the borage family, 1753, Modern Latin, of unknown origin. Klein suggests Arabic arnabiyah, a name of a type of plant, as the ultimate source.
Arnold Look up Arnold at
masc. proper name, from Old High German Arenwald, literally "having the strength of an eagle," from arn "eagle" (see erne) + wald "power" (see wield).
aroint (v.) Look up aroint at
intransitive verb, c. 1600, used by Shakespeare (only in imperative: "begone!"), obsolete and of obscure origin. "[T]he subject of numerous conjectures, none of which can be said to have even a prima facie probability." [OED]
aroma (n.) Look up aroma at
early 13c., "fragrant substance," from Latin aroma "sweet odor," from Greek aroma "seasoning, any spice or sweet herb," which is of unknown origin. Meaning "fragrance" is from 1814. A hypercorrect plural is aromata.
aromatherapy (n.) Look up aromatherapy at
by 1992, from French aromathérapie, attested from 1930s; see aroma + therapy.
aromatic (adj.) Look up aromatic at
c. 1400, aromatyk, from Middle French aromatique (14c.), from Latin aromaticus, from Greek aromatikos, from aroma (genitive aromatos) "seasoning, sweet spice," which is of unknown origin.
aromatize (v.) Look up aromatize at
late 15c., from Old French aromatiser (12c.), from Latin aromatizare, from Greek aromatizein "to spice," from aromat-, stem of aroma "seasoning, sweet spice" (see aroma).
arose (v.) Look up arose at
past tense of arise (v.).
around (adv.) Look up around at
c. 1300, "in circumference," from phrase on round. Rare before 1600. In sense of "here and there with no fixed direction" it is 1776, American English (properly about). Of time, from 1888. To have been around "gained worldly experience" is from 1927, U.S. colloquial.
arousal (n.) Look up arousal at
1827, "action of arousing, a being awakened" from arouse + -al (2). Sexual association is from c. 1900.
arouse (v.) Look up arouse at
1590s, "awaken" (transitive), from a- (1) "on" + rouse. Related: Aroused; arousing.
acronym from Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, set up in 1969 by a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense in partnership with four universities; acknowledged as "the world's first operational packet switching network" and predecessor of the Internet.
arpeggio (n.) Look up arpeggio at
1742, from Italian arpeggio, from arpeggiare "to play upon the harp," from arpa "harp," which is of Germanic origin (see harp (n.)). Related: Arpeggiated; arpeggiation.
arr (v.) Look up arr at
"to growl like a dog," late 15c., imitative. In classical times, the letter R was called littera canina "the dog letter" (Persius).
arrack (n.) Look up arrack at
c. 1600, probably picked up in India, ultimately from Arabic araq, literally "sweat, juice;" used of native liquors in Eastern countries, especially those distilled from fermented sap of coconut palm, sometimes from rice or molasses.
arrah Look up arrah at
supposedly a characteristic Irish expression of emotion or excitement, 1705.
arraign (v.) Look up arraign at
late 14c., araynen, "to call to account," from Old French araisnier "speak to, address; accuse (in a law court)," from Vulgar Latin *arrationare, from Latin adrationare, from ad- "to" (see ad-) + *rationare, from ratio "argumentation, reckoning, calculation" (see ratio). Sense of "to call up on a criminal charge" is c. 1400. The excrescent -g- is a 16c. overcorrection based on reign, etc. Related: Arraigned; arraigning.
arraignment (n.) Look up arraignment at
mid-15c., from Old French araisnement, from araisnier (see arraign).
arrange (v.) Look up arrange at
late 14c., "draw up a line of battle," from Old French arengier (12c.), from a- "to" (see ad-) + rangier "set in a row" (Modern French ranger), from rang "rank," from Frankish *hring (see rank (n.)).

A rare word until the meaning generalized to "to place things in order" c. 1780-1800. Musical sense of "adapt for other instruments or voices" is from 1808. Related: Arranged; arranging. Arranged marriage attested from 1854.
arrangement (n.) Look up arrangement at
1727, from French arrangement, from arranger "arrange" (see arrange).
arrant (adj.) Look up arrant at
late 14c., variant of errant (q.v.); at first merely derogatory, "wandering, vagrant;" then (1540s) acquiring a meaning "thoroughgoing, downright, notorious."
arras (n.) Look up arras at
"pictured tapestry," late 14c., from Anglo-French draps d'arras, from Arras, city in France where pictured tapestries were made, from Latin Atrebates, name of a tribe of the Belgae who inhabited the Artois region; probably literally "inhabitants," from a Celtic trebu "tribe."
array (v.) Look up array at
early 14c., from stem of Old French areer "to put in order," from Vulgar Latin *ar-redare (source of Italian arredare), from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + Frankish *ræd- "ready" or some cognate Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *raidjan "to place in order" (source also of Gothic garadis, Old English geræde "ready;" see ready (adj.)). Related: Arrayed; arraying.
array (n.) Look up array at
mid-14c., "order, arrangement," from Anglo-French arrai, Old French aroi, from areer "to put in order" (see array (v.)).
arrear (adv.) Look up arrear at
c. 1300, "at a disadvantage;" mid-14c., "in times past;" late 14c., "in or to the rear;" see arrears. Meaning "behind in duties or payments" is from 1620s.
arrearage (n.) Look up arrearage at
"unpaid debt," early 14c., from Old French arierage "detriment, prejudice (in a legal sense)" (Modern French arrérage), from ariere "behind" (see arrears).
arrears (n.) Look up arrears at
"balance due," early 15c., plural noun from Middle English arrere (adv.) "in or to the rear; in the past; at a disadvantage" (c. 1300), from Anglo-French arrere, Old French ariere "behind, backward," from Vulgar Latin *ad retro, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + retro "behind" (see retro-). Arrearage (early 14c.) was the earlier noun. Phrase in arrears first recorded 1610s, but in arrearages is from late 14c.
arrest (v.) Look up arrest at
"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 also of Italian arrestare, Spanish and Portuguese arrestar), from ad- "to" (see ad-) + Latin 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.) Look up arrest at
late 14c., from Anglo-French arest, Old French areste (n.), from arester "to stay, stop" (see arrest (v.)).
arrested (adj.) Look up arrested at
1610s, past participle adjective from arrest (v.). Arrested development is first recorded 1859 in evolutionary biology.
arresting (n.) Look up arresting at
early 15c., "action of stopping" someone or something, verbal noun from arrest (v.).
arresting (adj.) Look up arresting at
"striking, that captures the imagination," 1792, figurative present participle adjective from arrest (v.).
arrhythmic (adj.) Look up arrhythmic at
1853, "without rhythm," in relation to musical sensibility, Modern Latin, from Greek arrhythmos "irregular, unrhythmical, without measure," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm; proportion, symmetry" (see rhythm). Medical arrhythmia "irregularity of pulse" is attested from 1888, from Greek noun of action from arrhythmos. Related: Arrhythmically.
arrival (n.) Look up arrival at
late 14c., "act of coming to land at the end of a voyage by sea, disembarkation," from Anglo-French arrivaille, from Old French arriver "to come to land" (see arrive). Arrivage (late 14c.) also was used.
arrive (v.) Look up arrive at
c. 1200, "reach land, reach the end of a journey by sea," from Anglo-French ariver, Old French ariver "to come to land" (11c.), 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.) Look up arriviste at
"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.) Look up arrogance at
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.) Look up arrogant at
late 14c., from Old French arrogant (14c.), from Latin arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume" (see arrogance). Related: Arrogantly.
arrogate (v.) Look up arrogate at
1530s, from Latin arrogatus, past participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself" (see arrogance). Related: Arrogated; arrogating.
arrogation (n.) Look up arrogation at
1580s, from Latin arrogationem (nominative arrogatio), noun of action from past participle stem of arrogare "to claim for oneself" (see arrogance).
arrondissement (n.) Look up arrondissement at
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.)). They were created during the Revolution.
arrow (n.) Look up arrow at
early 14c., from Old English arwan, earlier earh "arrow," possibly borrowed from Old Norse ör (genitive örvar), from Proto-Germanic *arkhwo (source also of 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. Meaning "a mark like an arrow in cartography, etc." is from 1834.

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, from Old Norse (the -n perhaps mistaken for a plural inflection), a North Germanic word, perhaps originally with the sense of "splinter." Stræl disappeared by 1200; fla became flo in early Middle English and lingered in Scottish until after 1500.
Robyn bent his joly bowe,
Therein he set a flo.

["Robyn and Gandelyn," in minstrel book, c. 1450, in British Museum]
arrowhead (n.) Look up arrowhead at
late 15c., from arrow + head (n.). Ancient ones dug up were called elf-arrows (17c.).
arrowroot (n.) Look up arrowroot at
1690s, from arrow + root (n.). So called because it was used to absorb toxins from poison-dart wounds.
arroyo (n.) Look up arroyo at
"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.) Look up arse at
"buttocks," Old English ærs "tail, rump," from Proto-Germanic *arsoz (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse ars, Middle Dutch ærs, German Arsch "buttock"), from PIE root *ors- "buttock, backside" (source also of 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.) Look up arsehole at
c. 1400, arce-hoole; see arse + hole (n.). In Old English, Latin anus was glossed with earsðerl, literally "arse-thrill."