"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.
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.
"person skilled in the art of building, one who plans and designs buildings and supervises their construction," 1560s, from 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").
Old English used heahcræftiga "high-crafter" as a loan-translation of Latin architectus. Middle English had architectour "superintendent." Extended sense of "one who plans or contrives" anything is from 1580s.
alternative spelling of archaeological (see archaeology); also see æ (1).
1560s, "the art of building," especially of fine or beautiful building; "tasteful application of scientific and traditional rules of good construction to the materials at hand," from French architecture, from Latin architectura, from architectus "master builder, chief workman" (see architect). The meaning "buildings constructed architecturally" is from 1610s.
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 Middle English it was the north cercle (late 14c.).
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.
"a secret, a mystery," proper singular form of arcana (q.v.); in alchemy, a supposed great secret of nature, hence, generally, "the secret virtue" of anything.
"pertaining or relating to architecture or the art of building; according to the principles of architecture," 1759; see architecture + -al (1). Related: Architecturally.