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early 14c., from Old French dart "throwing spear, arrow," from Proto-Germanic *darothuz cf. Old English daroð, Old High German tart, Old Norse darraþr "dart"). Italian and Spanish dardo are said to be from Germanic by way of Old Provençal.
late 14c., "to pierce with a dart," from dart (n.). Meaning "to move like a dart" is attested from 1610s. Related: Darted; darter; darting.
an instrument of war; a light spear. "Fiery darts" (Eph. 6:16) are so called in allusion to the habit of discharging darts from the bow while they are on fire or armed with some combustible material. Arrows are compared to lightning (Deut. 32:23, 42; Ps. 7:13; 120:4).