verb

  • 1no object Have the curved shape of an arch.

    ‘a beautiful bridge that arched over a canal’
    • ‘The fronds were stiffened by ice and arched over the trickle like a tunnel of swords at a wedding.’
    • ‘All over the city, the authorities have put up large billboards featuring bucolic scenes of date palms arched over a river bank.’
    • ‘Trees arching over the banks of the creek are lit silvery orange by the glow of campfires and the night sky.’
    • ‘The front fenders help to balance the density of the rear by arching above the hood to create a sense of power.’
    • ‘The long-faded remains of a painted rainbow can just be seen on a sewer pipe arching over the canal nearby.’
    • ‘All of a sudden, the sky cleared, became blue and a perfect rainbow arched over me with one end in the sand.’
    • ‘The man trees arched over the house, as if shielding it from the elements.’
    • ‘He was stood before a stretch of thick, dark trees that arched over a long cut of clear land; Lia presumed it was used as a path.’
    • ‘As they approached from a side street, the magnificent Ponte Vecchio came into view, arched over the river Arno.’
    • ‘And the tree grew thick, leafy branches that arched over the boy.’
    • ‘The trail arched gently around a broad bay towards Krios headland, the corner of Crete, and a tiny chapel whose whitewashed walls gleamed like a beacon.’
    • ‘The tub-shaped space within the parapet, formerly open to the air and sun, was now arched over by a light dome of lath-work covered with felt.’
    • ‘Drive down the narrow country lane, trees arching above you, and turn into the unmarked drive and past the pond, and you could be entering an elite golf club, secluded from the Oxfordshire countryside that embraces it.’
    • ‘A 15th century Genoese bridge arched over a boulder-strewn stream near the remains of an old mill, once used for making chestnut flour.’
    • ‘Brick stringcourses decorated rough stucco walls, while semicircular lunettes arched over the main floor windows.’
    • ‘But the reward was generous - a tremulous rainbow arched over the mountains, shaggy with greenery.’
    1. 1.1 Form or cause to form the curved shape of an arch.
      ‘her eyebrows arched in surprise’
      with object ‘she arched her back’
      • ‘What followed had eyebrows arching everywhere.’
      • ‘‘Ray give that to me,’ I cut in sharply, causing Ray's eyebrows to arch in surprise.’
      • ‘To kiss this fabled rock first you must lie, arched backwards, leaning out from the castle's parapet with a 27-metre drop below.’
      • ‘His eyebrows sharply arched as he continued to read the letter.’
      • ‘Her face was pale, very pale - her golden eyebrows slightly arched in surprise as she saw me.’
      • ‘I wondered what the drivers were thinking of, arched over their steering wheels, nose-to-tail in the rush hour jam.’
      • ‘His head, arched over the pillow and framed by the blanket folded beneath his chin, was illuminated by pale moonlight.’
      • ‘She laughed at that and looked at him with one eyebrow arched.’
      • ‘He stared a long time, his eyebrow slowly arching.’
      • ‘Larry glanced at Adam, eyebrows arching in surprise.’
      • ‘Rachel stared after him in mild surprise, her eyebrow arched and her emerald gaze thoughtful.’
      • ‘Louis took the letter, his eyebrows arching in surprise, and thanked the secretary.’
      • ‘Jake only laughed hollowly, one eyebrow arching.’
      • ‘Kato couldn't prevent his eyebrow from arching at that statement.’
      • ‘‘Grandmother,’ I addressed her tartly, one eyebrow arching uncontrollably.’
      • ‘He glanced in her direction and his eyebrows arched in surprise when he saw her.’
      • ‘Holding a barbell, stand with your knees slightly bent, your chest out and your back slightly arched.’
      • ‘Jen places her feet close together and, with her lower back tight and slightly arched, bends at the knees and hips.’
      • ‘Eyebrows arched, he crossed his arms stubbornly over his chest.’
      • ‘Evan glanced at him while they walked, eyebrows arching.’
      curve, bow, bend, arc, curl
      View synonyms
  • 2literary, archaic with object Span (something) by or as if by an arch.

    ‘the vine arched his evening seat’
    • ‘A mass of rock had arched him over—or, rather, the hand of God, as if by miracle, had delivered the Christian miner.’
    • ‘The main nave is arched by a barrel vault with sectors, as is the presbytery, where the sectors are convergent.’
    • ‘It is difficult to imagine a more dramatic setting for these 18-hole masterpieces, with fairways abutting ancient lava flows, tees surrounded by palm groves, and greens arched by rainbows created in the ocean mist.’