Arches – Definition & Meaning

Arches are a common architectural feature that has been used for centuries in various structures. These structures are known for their strength, durability, and beauty. Arches have been used in various buildings, including churches, temples, and bridges. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of arches.


An arch is a curved structure that spans an opening, such as a doorway or a window. The arch is made up of a series of wedge-shaped blocks that are held together by gravity and friction. The blocks are called voussoirs, and the top of the arch is called the keystone.


The origin of arches can be traced back to ancient civilizations, such as the Romans and the Greeks. They used arches in their buildings and structures, such as aqueducts and coliseums. The use of arches spread throughout the world, and they continue to be used in modern architecture.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of arches can vary depending on the context. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an arch is “a typically curved structural member spanning an opening and serving as a support.” The Oxford English dictionary defines an arch as “a curved structure that spans an opening and supports the weight of the structure above it.”


Arches are often associated with strength, durability, and beauty. They are a symbol of architectural excellence and have been used in various structures for centuries. Arches are also associated with history and culture, as they have been used in many iconic buildings and structures around the world.


Some synonyms of arches include curve, vault, dome, and span. These words are often used interchangeably with arches, depending on the context.


Antonyms of arches include straight, flat, and level. These words are used to describe structures that do not have a curved shape, such as a flat roof or a straight wall.

The same root words

The word arch comes from the Latin word arcus, which means bow or arch. The same root words can be found in other languages, such as the Greek word arkos, which means bow or arch, and the Sanskrit word archati, which means to shine.

Example Sentences

  1. The arches in the cathedral are a testament to the skill of the medieval builders.
  2. The bridge was built with a series of arches that spanned the river.
  3. The arches in the temple were decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures.
  4. The arches in the palace were made of marble and decorated with gold leaf.
  5. The arches in the museum were designed to create a sense of grandeur and awe.
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