This confusion has cropped up a few times in the past couple of months and has bothered me enough to explore the differences. Part of the problem is that both words are based on the same root word, arcus, from the Latin.
Arc evolved into a term referring to a path while arch came to refer to shapes as in the arch of a foot, an eyebrow, or a part of a building. One trick I’ve found useful when trying to differentiate between them is to keep in mind that an arc (when not playing adjective or noun!) moves while an arch is not about movement.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Merriam-Webster|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adjective 1; Noun 2;
Verb, intransitive 2
|Adjective 3; Noun 4; Prefix 5; Suffix 6;
Verb, intransitive & transitive (usually used as an adjective) 4
Arc or angle (corresponding to the) sine (of so many degrees) (Merriam-Webster)
Luminous electrical discharge between two electrodes or other points
[Acronym] Advanced Reading Copy[Acronym] American Red Cross [Medical acronym] AIDS-related complex
Form an electric arc [the noun]
Deliberately or affectedly playful and teasing
A shape resembling such a structure
Raised area on the bottom of the foot that is formed by a curved section of bones
Denoting a ruler or leader
Form an arch
Take an arch-shaped course
Cover or provide with an arch
Form into an arch
The arc whose cosine is χ is the same as the angle whose cosine is χ (Wikipedia).
We’ll need an arc lamp for this project.
Publishers provide ARCs to reviewers for advanced publicity.
The electric arc shone too bright at that moment.
Check that switches operate properly with no sign of arcing.
She made arch observations about the most mundane matters.
It has such lovely high arched windows.
The delicate arch of her eyebrows was carefully plucked.
He is the archbishop.
He is an arch-scoundrel.
The vine arched over his evening seat.
Something scared my cat, for she’s arching her back.
|Abbreviation: archaic, archaism, archery
|History of the Word:|
|1 circa 1949||3 Mid-sixteenth century from arch- because of its association with words such as rogue
First known use: 14th century
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits:
This U.S. Navy photo was taken by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas of US Navy 100806-N-6720T-005 Hull Maintenance Technician Fireman Zac Vess uses an arc welder to reattach an electrical outlet mounting post to the hull of USS George Washington (CVN 73) and is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.