Arches

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arch1
semicircular arch
A. keystone
B. voussoirs
C. springers
D. imposts

arch 1

 (ärch)
n.
1. A usually curved structure forming the upper edge of an open space and supporting the weight above it, as in a bridge or doorway.
2. A structure, such as a freestanding monument, shaped like an inverted U.
3. A curve with the ends down and the middle up: the arch of a raised eyebrow.
4. Anatomy An organ or structure having a curved or bowlike appearance, especially either of two arched sections of the bony structure of the foot.
v. arched, arch·ing, arch·es
v.tr.
1. To provide with an arch: arch a passageway.
2. To cause to form an arch or similar curve.
3. To bend backward: The dancers alternately arched and hunched their backs.
4. To span: "the rude bridge that arched the flood" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
v.intr.
To form an arch or archlike curve: The high fly ball arched toward the stands.

[Middle English, from Old French arche, from Vulgar Latin *arca, from Latin arcus.]

arch 2

 (ärch)
adj.
1. Chief; principal: their arch foe.
2.
a. Mischievous; roguish: "She ... was arch enough to inform the queen whenever I committed any folly that she thought would be diverting to her majesty" (Jonathan Swift).
b. Teasing, ironic, or sardonic: "I know, Edy Boardman said none too amiably with an arch glance from her shortsighted eyes. I know who is Tommy's sweetheart" (James Joyce).

[From arch-.]

arch′ly adv.
arch′ness n.

Arches

(ˈɑːtʃɪz)
pl n
(Anglicanism) Court of Arches Church of England the court of appeal of the Province of Canterbury, formerly held under the arches of Bow Church
References in classic literature ?
The ceilings were composed of great arches that rose far above her head, and all the walls and floors were of polished marble exquisitely tinted in many colors.
Beyond this court, let there be an inward court, of the same square and height; which is to be environed with the garden on all sides; and in the inside, cloistered on all sides, upon decent and beautiful arches, as high as the first story.
Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on their hands and feet, to make the arches.
The light from our lamps produced sometimes magical effects, following the rough outlines of the natural arches and pendants disposed like lustres, that were tipped with points of fire.
The old stone bridge which spanned the stream was within a hundred yards of me; the setting sun still tinged the swift-flowing water under the arches with its red and dying light.
There was an exchange of bugle blasts; then a parley from the walls, where men-at-arms, in hauberk and morion, marched back and forth with halberd at shoulder under flapping banners with the rude figure of a dragon displayed upon them; and then the great gates were flung open, the drawbridge was lowered, and the head of the cavalcade swept forward under the frowning arches; and we, following, soon found ourselves in a great paved court, with towers and turrets stretching up into the blue air on all the four sides; and all about us the dismount was going on, and much greeting and ceremony, and running to and fro, and a gay display of moving and intermingling colors, and an altogether pleasant stir and noise and confusion.
A few paces distant, an enormous pillar, then another, then another; seven pillars in all, down the length of the hall, sustaining the spring of the arches of the double vault, in the centre of its width.
Then, the Sacristan locks the iron-barred gates that divide the sanctuary from the chancel, and all of the procession having scuttled into their places, hide their faces; and then the intoned words, 'WHEN THE WICKED MAN--' rise among groins of arches and beams of roof, awakening muttered thunder.
In the meantime, the forest began to change its hues, losing that lively green which had embellished its arches, in the graver light which is the usual precursor of the close of day.
Away down on the level under the black mass of the Castle, the town lay, stretched along the river, its intricate cobweb of streets jeweled with twinkling lights; there were rows of lights on the bridges; these flung lances of light upon the water, in the black shadows of the arches; and away at the extremity of all this fairy spectacle blinked and glowed a massed multitude of gas-jets which seemed to cover acres of ground; it was as if all the diamonds in the world had been spread out there.
The station for the country house was at the opposite end of the town, the time was short, the road not easy; but she was so quick in pouncing on a disengaged coach, so quick in darting out of it, producing her money, seizing her ticket, and diving into the train, that she was borne along the arches spanning the land of coal-pits past and present, as if she had been caught up in a cloud and whirled away.
Two yards from the door, at the head of this stair, is an opening nearly east, accessible by treading on the ledge of the wall, which diminishes eight inches each story ; and this last opening leads into a room or chapel ten feet by twelve, and fifteen or sixteen high, arched with free-stone, and supported by small circular columns of the same, the capitals and arches Saxon.