Etymology
Advertisement
arch- 
also archi-, word-forming element meaning "chief, principal; extreme, ultra; early, primitive," from Latinized form of Greek arkh-, arkhi- "first, chief, primeval," combining form of arkhos "a chief, leader, commander," arkhein "be first, begin" (see archon).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
arch (v.)
early 14c., "to form an arch" (implied in arched); c. 1400 in transitive sense "furnish with an arch," from arch (n.). Related: Arching.
Related entries & more 
arch-enemy (n.)
also archenemy, 1540s, from arch- + enemy. Originally especially Satan.
Related entries & more 
arch-rival (n.)
also archrival, by 1805, from arch- + rival (n.).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
arch (adj.)
1540s, "chief, principal," from separate use of the prefix arch-, which is attested from late Old English (in archangel, archbishop, etc.). The prefix figured in so many derogatory uses (arch-rogue, arch-knave, etc.) that by mid-17c. it had acquired a meaning of "roguish, mischievous," softened by 19c. to "saucy." The shifting sense is exemplified by archwife (late 14c.), variously defined as "a wife of a superior order" or "a dominating woman, virago." Related: Archly; archness.
Related entries & more 
arch-fiend (n.)

1667, from arch (adj.) + fiend (n.). Originally and typically Satan (arch-foe "Satan" is from 1610s).

So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay. ["Paradise Lost," 1667]
Related entries & more 
archdiocese (n.)
the seat of an archbishop, 1762, from arch- "chief" + diocese.
Related entries & more 
archway (n.)
"entrance or passageway under an arch or vault," also arch-way, 1788, from arch (n.) + way (n.).
Related entries & more 
overarching (adj.)

"forming an arch overhead," 1720, from present participle of verb overarch "to cover with or as with an arch" (1660s), from over- + arch (v.).

Related entries & more