See also: Arrow

English edit

An arrow symbol.
Two arrows (projectiles) in a target.

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English arwe, from Old English earh (oblique form ēarw-), from Proto-West Germanic *arhu, from Proto-Germanic *arhwō, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂érkʷo- (bow, arrow). Cognate with Faroese ørv (arrow), Icelandic ör (arrow), örvar (arrows), Gothic 𐌰𐍂𐍈𐌰𐌶𐌽𐌰 (arƕazna, dart), Latin arcus (bow).

Noun edit

arrow (plural arrows)

  1. A projectile consisting of a shaft, a point and a tail with stabilizing fins that is shot from a bow.
    • 1577, Raphaell Holinshed, “[The Historie of Irelande [].] The Thirde Booke of the Historie of Ireland, Comprising the Raigne of Henry the Eyght: [...].”, in The Firste Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande [], volume I, London: [] [Henry Bynneman] for Iohn Hunne, →OCLC, pages 77–78, column 2:
      The Citizens in their rage, imagining that euery poſt in the Churche had bin one of ye Souldyers, ſhot habbe or nabbe at randon[sic – meaning random] uppe to the Roode lofte, and to the Chancell, leauing ſome of theyr arrowes ſticking in the Images.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill.
  2. A sign or symbol used to indicate a direction (e.g. →).
    • 1968, Robert R. Stoll, Edward T. Wong, Linear Algebra, London: Academic Press, →LCCN, pages 2–3:
      Consider now the arrow with initial point   and terminal point  ; this arrow we shall designate by  . If   and   are the coordinates of   and  , respectively, then   is equal to the arrow  , where   is the origin of the coordinate system and   has coordinates  . Thus each arrow is equal to one having the origin as its initial point.
  3. (graph theory) A directed edge.
  4. (colloquial, darts) A dart.
    • 2014, John Eaton, It's Gonna Rain All Night, page 182:
      The second arrow flew through the air in a drunken parabolic curve and nestled just below the previous dart. Twenty!
      “Good arrows!” came from all around the room. Total silence came from the opposition corner.
  5. (computing) The -> symbol, which has specific meanings in various programming languages.
  6. (botany) The inflorescence or tassel of a mature sugar cane plant.
    • 1921, The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer[1], volume 67, page 187:
      When the bulb of the “blowing ball” is operated, a gentle spray, much like what happens in Nature when a sugar cane arrow is shaken by the wind or gently tapped, is given out at the free end of the capsule and can be directed to any portion of the arrow as desired.
Synonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also edit

Verb edit

arrow (third-person singular simple present arrows, present participle arrowing, simple past and past participle arrowed)

  1. (intransitive) To move swiftly and directly (like an arrow).
  2. (transitive) To let fly swiftly and directly.
    • 2012 April 9, Mandeep Sanghera, “Tottenham 1 - 2 Norwich”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      Jermain Defoe dinked in an equaliser and Gareth Bale hit the crossbar for the hosts before Elliott Bennett arrowed in Norwich's winner.
  3. (intransitive, botany, of a sugar cane plant) To develop an inflorescence.
    • 1848, Louis Antoine A.G. De Verteuil, Three essays on the cultivation of the sugar-cane in Trinidad[3], page 12:
      The more vigorous and luxuriant the vegetation of a field of canes, the less will the tendency to flowering be shewn; whereas nearly all the canes will be found to arrow if the soil be poor and the vegetation meagre.
    • 1903, Planter and Sugar Manufacturer[4], volume 30, page 374:
      In some sugar cane countries efforts are made to harvest the cane crops before the period of arrowing, and in Barbados it is thought that a considerable loss occurs in the yield of sugar if the harvest be delayed and only completed through the arrowing season.
    • 1905, Sugar-Cane Experiments in the Leeward Islands[5]:
      It is easily grown and arrows freely. It appears to be of moderate merit only, but might be cautiously tried on a small scale.
  4. (computing, intransitive) To navigate using the arrow keys.
    Arrow left until you reach the start of the text you want to delete.

Etymology 2 edit

Representing pronunciation.

Contraction edit


  1. (obsolete) Contraction of ever a (sometimes used with a redundant a or an).
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society, published 1973, page 153:
      though he hath lived here this many years, I don't believe there is arrow a servant in the house ever saw the colour of his money.

Anagrams edit