archangel (n.) Look up archangel at
"an angel of the highest order," late 12c., from Old French archangel (12c.) or directly from Late Latin archangelus, from New Testament Greek arkhangelos "chief angel," from arkh- "chief, first" (see archon) + angelos (see angel). Replaced Old English heah encgel.
archangelic (adj.) Look up archangelic at
mid-15c.; see archangel + -ic.
archbishop (n.) Look up archbishop at
"a bishop of the highest rank," in the West from 9c. especially of metropolitan bishops, Old English ærcebiscop, from Late Latin archiepiscopus, from Greek arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + episkopos "bishop," literally "overseer" (see bishop). Replaced earlier Old English heah biscop. The spelling was conformed to Latin from 12c.
archbishopric (n.) Look up archbishopric at
Old English arcebiscoprice, from archbishop + rice "realm, dominion, province" (see regal).
archdeacon (n.) Look up archdeacon at
"ecclesiastic who has charge of a part of a diocese," Old English arcediacon, from Church Latin archidiaconus, from Ecclesiastical Greek arkhidiakonon "chief deacon;" see arch- + deacon. Related: Archdeaconship.
archdiocese (n.) Look up archdiocese at
the seat of an archbishop, 1762, from arch- "chief" + diocese.
archduchess (n.) Look up archduchess at
1610s, modeled on French archiduchesse; see arch- "chief" + duchess. In later use generally "a princess of the reigning family of Austria," translating German Erzherzogin. Compare archduke, which is the masc. form.
archduke (n.) Look up archduke at
1520s, from Middle French archeduc (Modern French archiduc), from Merovingian Latin archiducem (c.750); see arch- + duke (n.). Formerly the title of the rulers of Austrasia, Lorraine, Brabant, and Austria; later the titular dignity of the sons of the Emperor of Austria. Related: Archducal; archduchy.
archeological (adj.) Look up archeological at
alternative spelling of archaeological (see archaeology); also see æ (1).
archeologist (n.) Look up archeologist at
alternative spelling of archaeologist. Also see æ (1).
archeology (n.) Look up archeology at
alternative spelling of archaeology. Also see æ (1).
archer (n.) Look up archer at
"one who shoots arrows from a (long) bow," late 13c., from Anglo-French archer, Old French archier "archer; bow-maker," from Late Latin arcarius, alteration of Latin arcuarius "maker of bows," from arcus "bow" (see arc (n.)). (The classical Latin word was arquites "archers;" the Greeks shunned archery as an unmanly tactic, and the Romans seem to have had little appreciation for it until their later encounters with mounted barbarian archers). Also a 17c. name for the bishop in chess. As a type of tropical fish, 1834, from its shooting drops of water at insects.
archery (n.) Look up archery at
"use of the bow and arrow," c. 1400, from Anglo-French archerye, Old French archerie, from archier "archer" (see archer).
archetypal (adj.) Look up archetypal at
"of or pertaining to an archetype," 1640s; see archetype + -al (1). Jungian sense is from 1923.
archetype (n.) Look up archetype at
"model, first form, original pattern from which copies are made," 1540s [Barnhart] or c. 1600 [OED], from Latin archetypum, from Greek arkhetypon "pattern, model, figure on a seal," neuter of adjective arkhetypos "first-moulded," from arkhe "beginning, origin, first place" (see archon) + typos "model, type, blow, mark of a blow" (see type).

The Jungian psychology sense of "pervasive idea or image from the collective unconscious" is from 1919. Jung defined archetypal images as "forms or images of a collective nature which occur practically all over the earth as constituents of myths and at the same time as autochthonous individual products of unconscious origin." ["Psychology and Religion" 1937]
Archibald Look up Archibald at
masc. proper name, from Old High German Erchanbald, literally "genuine-bold," from erchan "genuine" + bald (see bold). Archie, British World War I military slang for "German anti-aircraft fire" or the guns that produce it (1915) is said in contemporary sources to be from the airmen dodging hostile fire and thinking of the refrain of a then-popular music hall song.
It's no use me denying facts, I'm henpecked, you can see!
'Twas on our wedding day my wife commenced to peck at me
The wedding breakfast over, I said, "We'll start off today
Upon our honeymoon."
Then she yelled, "What! waste time that way?"
[chorus] "Archibald, certainly not!
Get back to work at once, sir, like a shot.
When single you could waste time spooning
But lose work now for honeymooning!
Archibald, certainly not!"
[John L. St. John & Alfred Glover, "Archibald, Certainly Not"]
Archilochian (adj.) Look up Archilochian at
1751, of composition, "severe, ill-natured," literally "in the style of Archolochus" (Latinized from Greek Arkhilokos), famed poet and satirist of Paros (c. 700 B.C.E.). Also of his characteristic verse forms.
Archimedean (adj.) Look up Archimedean at
1798, "of or pertaining to Archimedes" (Latinized from Greek Arkhimedes), celebrated practical mathematician of antiquity, born in Syracuse 3c. B.C.E. Archimedean screw is from 1806.
archipelago (n.) Look up archipelago at
c. 1500, from Italian arcipelago "the Aegean Sea" (13c.), from arci- "chief, principal," from Latin archi- (see arch-) + pelago "pool; gulf, abyss," from Medieval Latin pelagus "pool; gulf, abyss, sea," from Greek pelagos "sea, high sea, open sea, main" (see pelagic).

The elements of the word are Greek, but there is no record of arkhipelagos in ancient or Medieval Greek (the modern word in Greek is borrowed from Italian), so the word perhaps is an Italian compound or an alteration in Italian of Medieval Latin Egeopelagus, from Greek Aigaion pelagos "Aegean Sea." The Aegean being full of island chains, the meaning was extended in Italian to "any sea studded with islands" (a sense attested in English from c. 1600) and to the islands themselves. Related: Archipelagian; archipelagic.
architect (n.) Look up architect at
"person skilled in the art of building, one who plans and designs buildings and supervises their construction," 1560s, from Middle French architecte, from Latin architectus, from Greek arkhitekton "master builder, director of works," from arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + tekton "builder, carpenter," from PIE root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate."

Rendered in Old English as heahcræftiga "high-crafter." Middle English had architectour "superintendent." Extended sense of "one who plans or contrives" anything is from 1580s.
architectonic (adj.) Look up architectonic at
1640s (architectonical is from 1590s), "pertaining to architecture," from Latin architectonicus, from Greek arkhitektonikos "pertaining to a master builder," from arkhitekton "chief workman" (see architect). Metaphysical sense, "pertaining to systematization of knowledge," is from 1801.
architectural (adj.) Look up architectural at
1759; see architecture + -al (1). Related: Architecturally.
architecture (n.) Look up architecture at
1560s, "the art of building, tasteful application of scientific and traditional rules of good construction to the materials at hand," from Middle French architecture, from Latin architectura, from architectus "master builder, chief workman" (see architect). Meaning "buildings constructed architecturally" is from 1610s.
architrave (n.) Look up architrave at
1560s as a feature of architectural columns; 1660s of window parts, from Italian architrave, from Latin archi- "beginning, origin" (see archon) + Italian trave "beam," from Latin trabem (nominative trabs) "beam, timber," from PIE root *treb- "dwelling" (see tavern).
archival (adj.) Look up archival at
"pertaining to or contained in public records," 1800; see archives + -al (1). Related: Archivally.
archive (v.) Look up archive at
1819 (implied in archived), from archives. Related: Archiving.
archive (n.) Look up archive at
see archives.
archives (n.) Look up archives at
c. 1600, "records or documents preserved as evidence," from French archif (16c., Modern French archives), from Late Latin archivum (plural archiva) "written records," also the place where they are kept, from Greek ta arkheia "public records," plural of arkheion "town hall, public building," from arkhe "government," literally "beginning, origin, first place" (see archon). The sense of "place where public records and historical documents are kept" in English is from 1640s.
archivist (n.) Look up archivist at
1753, a native formation or else from Medieval Latin or Italian archivista or French archiviste (see archives + -ist).
archivolt (n.) Look up archivolt at
ornamental molding on the face of an arch, 1731, from Italian archivolto, from volta, volto "arch, vault" (see vault (n.1)).
archon (n.) Look up archon at
one of the nine chief magistrates of ancient Athens, 1650s, from Greek arkhon "ruler, commander, chief, captain," noun use of present participle of arkhein "be the first," thence "to begin, begin from or with, make preparation for;" also "to rule, lead the way, govern, rule over, be leader of," a word of uncertain origin.
archway (n.) Look up archway at
"entrance or passageway under an arch or vault," also arch-way, 1788, from arch (n.) + way (n.).
arctic (adj.) Look up arctic at
late 14c., artik, in reference to the north pole of the heavens, from Old French artique and directly from Medieval Latin articus, from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos "of the north," literally "of the (constellation) Bear," from arktos "bear; Ursa Major; the region of the north," the Bear being the best-known northern circumpolar constellation.

This is from *rkto-, the usual Indo-European root for "bear" (source also of Avestan aresho, Armenian arj, Albanian ari, Latin ursus, Welsh arth); see bear (n.) for speculation on why Germanic lost the word.

The -c- was restored from 1550s. From early 15c. as "northern;" from 1660s as "cold, frigid." As a noun, with capital A-, "the northern polar regions," from 1560s.
Arctic Circle Look up Arctic Circle at
1550s in astronomy, in reference to a celestial circle, a line around the sky which, in any location, bounds the stars which are ever-visible from that latitude (in the Northern Hemisphere its center point is the celestial north pole); the concept goes back to the ancient Greeks, for whom this set of constellations included most prominently the two bears (arktoi), hence the name for the circle (see arctic).

In geography, from 1620s as "the circle roughly 66 degrees 32 minutes north of the equator" (based on obliquity of the ecliptic of 23 degrees 28 minutes), marking the southern extremity of the polar day, when the sun at least theoretically passes the north point without setting on at least one summer day and does not rise on at least one winter one.
Arcturus Look up Arcturus at
late 14c., orange bright star in the constellation Bootes (also used of the whole constellation), from Latin Arcturus, from Greek Arktouros, literally "guardian of the bear" (the bright star was anciently associated with nearby Ursa Major, the "Big Dipper," which it seems to follow across the sky). For first element see arctic; second element is Greek ouros "watcher, guardian, ward," from PIE root *wer- (4) "perceive" (see ward (n.)). It is fourth-brightest of the fixed stars. The double nature of the great bear/wagon (see Big Dipper) has given two different names to the constellation that follows it: Arktouros "bear-ward" and Bootes "the wagoner."

Arcturus in the Bible (Job ix.9 and xxxviii.32) is a mistranslation by Jerome (continued in KJV) of Hebrew 'Ayish, which refers to what we see as the "bowl" of the Big Dipper. In Israel and Arabia, the seven stars of the Great Bear seem to have been a bier (the "bowl") followed by three mourners. In the Septuagint it was translated as Pleiada, which is equally incorrect.
arcuate (adj.) Look up arcuate at
"bent like a bow," 1620s, from Latin arcuatus "bow-like, arched," past participle of arcuare "to bend like a bow," from arcus "a bow" (see arc (n.)). Related: Arcuration.
ardency (n.) Look up ardency at
1540s, "warmth of feeling, desire," from ardent + -cy. A figurative sense, the literal meaning "intensity of heat" is attested from 1630s.
ardent (adj.) Look up ardent at
early 14c., of alcoholic distillates, brandy (ardent spirits), etc., from Old French ardant "burning, hot; zealous" (13c.), from Latin ardentem (nominative ardens) "glowing, fiery, hot, ablaze," also used figuratively of passions, present participle of ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow" (source also of Old English æsce "ashes;" see ash (n.1)).

The figurative sense ("burning with passions, desire, etc.") is from late 14c.; literal sense of "burning, parching" (c. 1400) remains rare. Ardent spirits (late 15c.) so called because they are inflammable, but the term now, if used at all, probably is felt in a figurative causative sense. Related: Ardently.
ardor (n.) Look up ardor at
"heat of passion or desire," mid-15c., from Old French ardure "heat, glow; inflammation; passion" (12c., Modern French ardeur), from Latin ardorem (nominative ardor) "a flame, fire, burning, heat;" also of feelings, etc., "eagerness, zeal," from ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow" (source also of Old English æsce "ashes;" see ash (n.1)). In Middle English used of base passions; since Milton's time of noble ones.
ardour (n.) Look up ardour at
chiefly British English spelling of ardor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.
arduous (adj.) Look up arduous at
1530s, "hard to accomplish, difficult to do, attended with much labor," from Latin arduus "high, steep," also figuratively, "difficult, hard to reach," from PIE root *eredh- "high" (see ortho-). Literal sense of "high, steep, difficult to climb" is attested in English from 1709. Related: Arduously; arduousness.
What is arduous requires more energy and endurance, and is less within the reach of common powers, than what is hard. Its primitive meaning of steep climbing is still felt in it, and makes it suggestive of severe and protracted effort. [Century Dictionary]
ardurous (adj.) Look up ardurous at
"full of ardor," 1770, perhaps a variant of arduous with overtones of ardor. Useful only to poets, and as it is first attested in Chatterton, perhaps a faux medievalism.
are (v.) Look up are at
present plural indicative of be (q.v.), from Old English earun (Mercian), aron (Northumbrian), from Proto-Germanic *ar-, probably a variant of PIE *es- "to be" (see am). Also from Old Norse cognates.

In 17c. it began to replace be, ben as first person plural present indicative in standard English. The only non-dialectal survival of be in this sense is the powers that be. But in southwest England, we be (in Devonshire us be) remains non-standard idiom as a contradictory positive ("You people aren't speaking correct English." "Oh, yes we be!"), and we be has reappeared in African-American vernacular.
are (n.) Look up are at
metric unit of square measure, 10 meters on each side (100 square meters), 1819, from French, formed 1795 by decree of the French National Convention, from Latin area "vacant piece of ground" (see area).
area (n.) Look up area at
1530s, "vacant piece of ground," from Latin area "level ground, open space," used of building sites, playgrounds, threshing floors, etc.; which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps an irregular derivation from arere "to become dry" (see azalea), on notion of "bare space cleared by burning." The generic sense of "any particular amount of surface (whether open or not) contained within any set of limits" is from 1560s. Area code in the North American telephone systems is attested from 1959.
area-way (n.) Look up area-way at
1850, from area + way (n.).
areal (adj.) Look up areal at
"pertaining to an area," 1670s, from Latin arealis, from area "level ground, open space" (see area).
aren't Look up aren't at
1709, contraction of are not, originally written are'n't and generally so into early 19c.
If "ain't I?" is objected to, surely "aren't I?" is very much worse. [Lady Grove, "The Social Fetich," 1907]
arena (n.) Look up arena at
1620s, "place of combat," from Latin harena "place of combat, enclosed space in the middle of Roman amphitheaters," originally "sand, sandy place" (source also of Spanish arena, Italian rena, French arène "sand"), a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Etruscan. The central stages of Roman amphitheaters were strewn with sand to soak up the blood. Figuratively, "scene of contest of any kind" is by 1814.
arenaceous (adj.) Look up arenaceous at
1640s, "sandy," from Latin arenaceus, harenaceus, from harena "sand, sandy place" (see arena). Figurative sense of "dry" is from 1870.