Geometry. any unbroken part of the circumference of a circle or other curved line.
Also called electric arc. Electricity. a luminous bridge formed in a gap between two electrodes. Compare spark1 ( def 2 ).
Astronomy. the part of a circle representing the apparent course of a heavenly body.
anything bow-shaped.
verb (used without object), arced [ahrkt] or arcked, arcing [ahr-king] or arcking.
to form an electric arc.
to move in a curve suggestive of an arc.

1350–1400; Middle English ark < Latin arcus bow, arch, curve

arc, ark. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
arc (ɑːk)
1.  something curved in shape
2.  part of an unbroken curved line
3.  a luminous discharge that occurs when an electric current flows between two electrodes or any other two surfaces separated by a small gap and a high potential difference
4.  astronomy a circular section of the apparent path of a celestial body
5.  maths a section of a curve, graph, or geometric figure
vb , arcs, arcing, arced, arcs, arcking, arcked
6.  (intr) to form an arc
7.  maths specifying an inverse trigonometric function: usually written arcsin, arctan, arcsec, etc, or sometimes sin--1, tan--1, sec--1, etc
[C14: from Old French, from Latin arcus bow, arch]

abbreviation for
AIDS-related complex: an early condition in which a person infected with the AIDS virus may suffer from such mild symptoms as loss of weight, fever, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. arc, from L. arcus "a bow, arch," from PIE base *arqu- "bowed, curved" (cf. Goth. arhvazna "arrow," O.E. earh, O.N. ör). Electrical sense is from 1821.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

arc (ärk)
A curved line or segment of a circle.

ARC abbr.
AIDS-related complex

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
arc   (ärk)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A segment of a circle.

  2. See electric arc.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. Addiction Research Center

  2. advance readers copy

  3. AIDS-related complex

  4. amateur radio club

  5. American Red Cross

  6. [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] Ames Research Center

  7. Appalachian Regional Commission

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Each had hold of a long steel cable that arced into the upper deck.
Planes looped and swerved and dived and arced and sent colorful sprays of vapor
  over the pandemonium below.
Flashes of light were visible as power lines arced in the winds.
The battery arced and ignited methane, causing an explosion.
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