Definition of dart in English:



  • 1A small pointed missile that can be thrown or fired.

    ‘the classroom was littered with paper darts’
    ‘she shot the animal with a tranquillizing dart’
    • ‘The ‘thunk’ sound of a fired dart makes everybody jump, including me and a couple birds over in the trees nearby.’
    • ‘He says the dart pierces the skin like a ‘bee sting’ and anybody shot will be brought to hospital.’
    • ‘Taser guns fire two small darts, each trailing fine wires.’
    • ‘Trigger had already fired a small dart into the back of his neck.’
    • ‘William gasped as the dart pierced his shoulder, but didn't even have time to turn round before the world dissolved away, and he fell forward onto the ground unconscious.’
    • ‘An unsteady hand raised to the offending body part, shaking fingers drawing up to pull the dart out of her flesh and the hood it had pierced through to reach her neck.’
    • ‘The dart raced through the long chamber and barrel and plunged into Soor's chest, right in the middle of his ribcage.’
    • ‘One drew a small blowgun and fired small, poisoned darts at them.’
    • ‘While he stood around gaping, Teddy fired his last dart and hit his final target square on.’
    • ‘He landed two darts the first in the creature's throat the second in its stomach.’
    • ‘He didn't say anymore after that as in the next second, Yori blew her dart, the needle piercing the side of my neck.’
    • ‘Research is also being carried out in England into the possible use of tasers, which fire darts connected to a wire that carries an electrical current powerful enough to incapacitate the target.’
    • ‘It was all sharp, but good-humoured; he once made a paper dart of a poem that George had written and threw it across the room.’
    • ‘The lion was shot with tranquilizer darts and dragged away to the zoo.’
    • ‘Others assembled crossbows whose bows were of the finest black spring steel, that could hurl a dart with such force as would kill a fully armoured destrier with a single shot.’
    • ‘An angry red mark on his stomach displayed the area where the dart had pierced his armor and a purple bruise showcased where the plasma bolt had ricocheted.’
    • ‘The deadly poison ricin was stored, with a blowgun and darts, in a plastic bag in the family room.’
    • ‘He told the Kiwi that a javelin was meant to be thrown like a dart, with the thrower required to ‘palm it up’ during the final thrust.’
    • ‘If a dart pierces human skin and faecal matter gets into the target's bloodstream, there can be serious health consequences.’
    • ‘In attacks between last Sunday, and Wednesday the tyres, on vehicles parked around Bedford, were pierced with a dart or syringe, without any apparent motive.’
    small arrow, flechette, bolt, shaft
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    1. 1.1 A small pointed missile with a feather or plastic flight, used in the game of darts.
      ‘Jack's first dart pierced the treble twenty’
      • ‘Mario for example went 180 180 60 and just landed his 8th dart beside the wire in the treble 7 on his attempt.’
      • ‘If they had been playing darts then the darts would have stopped in mid flight.’
      • ‘A simple example of numerical integration is estimating the area of a geometric figure by randomly throwing darts at it and counting the hits and misses.’
      • ‘We are pleased to note the overall Oxford triumph, sealed in thrilling fashion as Craig Heasman threw the winning dart to once again seal glory for the men and women of the Pelican.’
      • ‘Indeed, had he reversed the shafts and thrown flight first, the dart would still have buried itself to a depth of three inches: the dartboard never stood a chance.’
      • ‘At 6-5, with Part needing only to hold his darts to win the title, Taylor broke back to force a deciding set.’
      • ‘She reached back, pulled the dart out and threw it at the target, where it stuck tip buried completely in the bullseye.’
      • ‘Third dart, I concentrated, gazed down that corridor of space separating the tip of my dart from the treble 20.’
      • ‘The Dringhouses Sports Club ace confidently fired 18 then 16 darts to claim the League's top prize.’
      • ‘This more often than not meant most of their games resulted in a tortuous struggle to plant a dart in Double One.’
      • ‘When the final dart was thrown this season in the Friday Night Mickey Mouse Darts League, Mick's Place had won the league championship title.’
      • ‘Williams and Fitton have been good pals for years, have thrown the odd dart in friendly combat, but this was the first time they had come face to face in matchplay.’
    2. 1.2Zoology A dart-like calcareous organ of a snail forming part of the reproductive system, exchanged during copulation.
      • ‘But it turns out that snails don't incorporate the calcium in the dart into their bodies.’
      • ‘Successful dart shooters father more babies than do snails that miss with their darts.’
      • ‘We found that snails that shot darts effectively had a reproductive advantage over snails that shot poorly.’
  • 2An act of running somewhere suddenly and rapidly.

    ‘the cat made a dart for the door’
    • ‘Nothing much looked on when centre Aaron Moule made a dart for the right-hand corner but somehow he reached out to plant the ball.’
    • ‘Again the alert Connor was in the thick of things as he made a dart for the line, only to be blocked a couple of paces short of the target.’
    • ‘Brian Flanagan made a dart for the pavilion end from a ruck, and found the sharp Bernard Behan on his right and the out-half left the cover standing.’
    • ‘Jorgensen, looking to keep up that incredible run, made an early dart to the edge of the Norwich box where he was halted by Darren Kenton.’
    dash, rush, run, bolt, break, charge, race, sprint, bound, spring, leap, jump, lunge, pounce, dive, swoop, gallop, scurry, scamper, stampede, scramble, start, flight
    dash, rush, tear, run, bolt, fly, flash, shoot, charge, race, sprint, bound, spring, leap, jump, lunge, dive, swoop, gallop, scurry, scamper, stampede, scramble, break, start
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    1. 2.1 A sudden, intense pang of a particular emotion.
      ‘a dart of panic’
      • ‘Her whole nature seemed sharpened and intensified into a pure dart of hate.’
      • ‘Nothing is obvious - not even the barbed darts of jealousy and politics that surround and inhabit the ashram school, run by the indomitable Miss.’
      • ‘In those usually confident and bright eyes, there was a flickering dart of fear and fury.’
      • ‘We could say, in a Platonic sense, that the dart of nostalgia hits man, wounds him, and precisely in this way puts wings on him, lifts him upwards.’
      surge, flow, gush, stream, flood, spurt
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  • 3A tapered tuck stitched in a garment in order to shape it.

    ‘stitch collarband on to neck edge and stitch darts’
    • ‘Trousers are emphasised with tailored darts and pleats.’
    • ‘To make a pattern for the stay, pin out the darts or pleats in the pants front pattern, then position the pocket pattern in place on the pants front pattern.’
    • ‘Press the dart toward the shoulder after stitching it.’
    • ‘Never cross a seam, dart, tuck or pleat with another seam without pressing it first.’
    • ‘Make sure the patterns match with the pleats and darts closed.’
    • ‘She put in a dart that was shaped differently than the one she had pulled out of the guard.’
    • ‘Check the fit of darts and seams midway through the garment construction and make needed adjustments so the fabric grainlines properly align.’
    • ‘This means that the arms and darts should really be cut from the same cloth as the body.’
    • ‘Once you understand the role of darts in shaping a garment, you will be glad to have them in all your clothing.’
    • ‘Wrong sides together, pin all darts, tucks and seams as you did in the tissue, placing pins accurately along the stitching lines.’
    • ‘If more waistline room is needed, release darts and/or tucks.’
    • ‘Avoid surface manipulations such as gathers, pleats, tucks and darts.’
    • ‘Beginning at the dart point, stitch to the dart cut end; backstitch and clip the threads.’
    • ‘Pin out the darts or pleats in the pants front pattern.’
    • ‘This year, with the anti-fashion look, the stress is on uneven hems and necklines, upside down darts and trimmings that are left uncompleted.’


  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Move or run somewhere suddenly or rapidly.

    ‘she darted across the street’
    • ‘Small animals darted away from the sharp eyes of the ever-hungry raven.’
    • ‘With bare feet I stepped into the alley and walked slowly, reaching out my hand to the filthy animals that hissed and darted away.’
    • ‘She jumps off her bed and darts out of her room and down some stairs, and rips the door open.’
    • ‘Zem and the women ran out into the streets, darting between people moving slowly in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘The creature darts suddenly, swinging across the precipitous pit from limb to limb.’
    • ‘She watched how Keldan moved, darting from one piece of cover to the next, doubtless to deny his target a chance to use a ranged weapon.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the creature darts out but bowls straight into him, knocking them both over.’
    • ‘She held a fig out in the palm of her hand, and the animal darted away and disappeared into the thicket.’
    • ‘Charles looked around once more, and this time, as he was turning his head back, and saw an extremely fast shape dart between some trees about twenty feet away.’
    • ‘It's such a tiny stage and The Gossip use it so well: Nathan darts and lunges from right to left and Beth jumps and jogs back and forward and Kathy just hammers at the drums.’
    • ‘Below, crabs sidestepped on the rocks and all kinds of fish darted by, making the snorkelling superb.’
    • ‘She grinned and turned on her heel, ready to bolt down the hallway and dart her way out of the prison.’
    • ‘As we walk to the edge of a stream, a stickleback freezes, then darts away in a series of rapid zig-zags punctuated by brief pauses.’
    • ‘In the field, they wondered, are the animals content to creep around most of the time, sprinting only when necessary, or do they regularly dart from place to place?’
    • ‘Suddenly, Berry darted away from us, swimming fast towards the ocean floor as we watched, intrigued.’
    • ‘He said the big cat was gone in a matter of seconds, but he was left shaken as the animal darted away through trees and undergrowth.’
    • ‘Black dashes dart across the screen, like grains of wild rice shaken on a sheet of paper.’
    • ‘I don't really work out, but I do like to move, and I dart up the subway stairs effortlessly now because my body feels good.’
    • ‘They perch on low shrubs or rocks, and dart out to grab prey from the air, the foliage, or the ground.’
    • ‘Even on relatively less crowded roads, drivers are advised to keep watching out for cyclists or pedestrians suddenly darting across.’
    scurry, scuttle, run, rush, dash, race, sprint, hurry, hasten, make haste
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    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Cast (a look or one's eyes) suddenly and rapidly in a particular direction.
      ‘she darted a glance across the table’
      • ‘Kate, Madeline's ladysmaid, floated around not really doing anything and occasionally darting angry looks in my direction.’
      • ‘She chewed on her lip, darting her eyes around the room.’
      • ‘My gaze drifted past a familiar head of blond hair and I immediately darted my eyes back in his direction.’
      • ‘As the three of us trekked over to the luggage area, I constantly darted my eyes around and looked at all the people.’
      • ‘But the second the words are out, Greg regrets them, and he quickly darts a look at Rena to see if she's upset.’
      • ‘Furthermore, don't drink gin on an empty stomach whilst darting your eyes about the room like you've got some sort of nervous twitch.’
      • ‘You walked towards me, smiling and darting your eyes in all directions.’
      • ‘I glanced up in time to see Madi looking at me, but she darted her eyes away quickly.’
      • ‘She rubbed an arm across her eyes and darted another quick look.’
      • ‘Clark darts a wary look at the detective, perhaps noticing the sarcasm, and Mike privately reminds himself to hold back a little.’
      • ‘He looked up slightly, darting his eyes away at any hint that Kamui was looking back.’
      • ‘I looked to Colleen then darted my eyes to her left, where Lori would have generally stood.’
      • ‘It lashed its mile long pointed tail fiercely about and looked around, darting its brown-red eyes, wildly scanning the ground below.’
      • ‘We sat looking at each other for a moment, before Andy darted his eyes away and stood up.’
      • ‘Without bothering to fling my hands away, he darts his eyes to the side to avoid my worried stare.’
      • ‘When she turned to him, he darted his eyes upward and glanced at the bathroom.’
      • ‘He pushed me back, threw his fingers through his hair wildly, and darted his eyes around to see if anyone had seen him.’
      • ‘He gave her a meaningful look, then darted his eyes to the back of Lewis's head and back to Lidia's patently beautiful face.’
      • ‘I grumbled to myself, darting my eyes from here to there.’
      • ‘As soon as the door closed behind her, she darted her eyes in every direction.’
      direct, cast, throw, shoot, send, fling, toss, flash, bestow, give
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  • 2with object Shoot (an animal) with a dart, typically in order to administer a drug.

    ‘he darted the leopard with a long-acting anaesthetic’
    • ‘We often dart the lions so we can take blood samples or tissue samples, and this definitely the most exciting experience.’
    • ‘The darting methods and the drugs used to dart the animals has advanced quite a lot.’
    • ‘Initially 41 female elephants were darted, radio collared and injected with the contraceptive vaccine.’
    • ‘The elephant, which was darted with a tranquilliser by veterinary staff soon afterwards, is now back in its herd.’
    • ‘If you dart a giraffe and he falls over, the sort of force that would come from being 6 or 7 metres high and your head hitting the ground would crack the skull open.’
    • ‘They had spent hours trying to get close enough to the animals to dart them, but every time they got within range the animals evaded them.’
    • ‘It's crucial that elephants allow these researchers to get up close so the animals can be darted and fitted with radio collars.’
    • ‘I was supposed to be darting Sable antelope in Africa.’
    • ‘The lions were darted and tranquillised on Tuesday at the Shamwari reserve and transported to Inkwenkwezi yesterday.’
    1. 2.1archaic Throw (a missile)
      ‘he darted his fierce iron’
      • ‘He darted a spear at his enemy.’


Middle English: from Old French, accusative of darz, dars, from a West Germanic word meaning ‘spear, lance’.