Definition of arrow in US English:

arrow

noun

  • 1A shaft sharpened at the front and with feathers or vanes at the back, shot from a bow as a weapon or for sport.

    ‘his ability to launch an arrow accurately’
    • ‘Hundreds of arrows were stuck into the ground in front of the archers as they took up positions at the rear defensive line.’
    • ‘Viking warriors commonly used bows and arrows, as well as other missile weapons such as throwing-spears and axes.’
    • ‘Imagine an archery target with two arrows sticking in the very centre of it.’
    • ‘Archery is like darts, except that the arrows are launched, not by hand, but by a recurve bow.’
    • ‘Feathers at the end of the arrow kept its path straight after its release from the bow.’
    • ‘Lykopis heard the hissing of an arrow and saw the man fall, the same arrow sticking out his neck.’
    • ‘To get the correct arrow length, use a long arrow and draw the bow to full draw.’
    • ‘They were carrying all sorts of weapons, including arrows, swords and axes.’
    • ‘She redirected her aim and let the arrow fly in the direction of the animal.’
    • ‘They took five shotguns, a longbow, arrows, a crossbow and bolts.’
    • ‘It felt as if there was one of Cupid's magical love arrows sticking straight out of my heart.’
    • ‘There were already numerous arrows flying in both directions with soldiers falling on both sides.’
    • ‘Koreans on the river banks, aware that the officials had not returned, shot arrows and threw stones in protest.’
    • ‘Then one of then pulled out a crossbow and shot arrows above my head.’
    • ‘He was dead, on the floor, with an arrow sticking out of his neck.’
    • ‘They stood in the trenches, weapons unsheathed and arrows nocked on bows.’
    • ‘The Sultan's army was primarily light cavalry armed with crossbows that shot poisoned arrows.’
    shaft, bolt, dart
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A mark or sign resembling an arrow, used to show direction or position; a pointer.
      ‘we drove in the main gate and followed a series of arrows’
      as modifier ‘you can use the up and down arrow keys’
      • ‘Block arrows indicate the direction of transcription in this and all other figures.’
      • ‘I'm sure by now you all know about the full screen menu you get when pressing the arrow keys on your DSTV remote.’
      • ‘Now imagine the piece of wood in the diagram spinning in the direction of the arrows.’
      • ‘I have marked with black arrows the direction in which they could have walked to the spot they eventually stole the cab from.’
      • ‘For instance, one could assume that the arrows illustrated wind direction or speed.’
      • ‘Just a few minutes into our trek to Amsterdam we mistakenly followed the way one sign was facing instead of the direction of the arrow on it.’
      • ‘Yellow paint lines, arrows and numbers mark the sidewalks where five people died under a Dublin bus last week.’
      • ‘The top arrow indicates the direction of increasing density within the gradient.’
      • ‘Double arrows mark epidermal adaxial surface at site of angiospermy.’
      • ‘The way this site has developed means that Kingsclere does not begin right at the junction, hence the arrow on our sign.’
      • ‘Inferred genes are indicated by arrows, indicating direction of transcription.’
      • ‘At end of track, go through gate and straight ahead in the direction of red arrow waymark.’
      • ‘The pieces are set up as shown on the drawing and moved in the directions indicated by the arrows.’
      • ‘On the back of the flyer, Lam drew a map of the area with dates and names and arrows pointing in various directions.’
      • ‘Taking this to mean there would be an emergency phone, I set off walking along the highway in the direction of the arrow.’
      • ‘Pressing any of the arrow keys turns the cursor into a resize cursor, and moves it to the relevant edge of the window.’
      • ‘There wasn't any indication towards where they were going at all, no signs or pointing neon arrows.’
      • ‘Small posts with arrows indicate the direction of the nearest phone.’
      • ‘Within each feature set you can navigate with the tab key and the arrow keys.’
      • ‘Continue for a quarter of a mile along the edge of the ridge until a yellow arrow waymarker indicates a path leading down to a house on the left alongside a wall.’
      pointer, indicator, marker, needle, hand, index
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • arrow of time (or time's arrow)

    • The direction of travel from past to future in time considered as a physical dimension.

      • ‘In the late twentieth century, an arrow of time may have been discovered at the subatomic level.’
      • ‘Some recent changes have been of the kind that make you wish time's arrow could be less relentless.’
      • ‘Follow the giant arrow of time from the origin of the universe, through the creation of stars, planets, human life, modern culture and beyond into the future.’
      • ‘The circles of periodicity are really spirals, stretched out along the arrow of time that flies only in one direction, and sooner or later brings down every creature.’
      • ‘It's not a method of somehow reversing the arrow of time.’
      • ‘The recognition of these patterns of eclipses in the archives then would have allowed them to reverse the arrow of time, and project the cycles into the future.’
      • ‘In whichever direction a writer shoots time's arrow, though, the bowstring is human nature, a relative constant.’
      • ‘I learned something about the psychological arrow of time from David Albert.’
      • ‘So in the physics department we have classes on the arrow of time, quantum mechanics for everyone.’
      • ‘After all, to play most sports, even at the level of the village green or recreational field, is to be reminded ceaselessly of time's arrow: of the ruthless, inexorable, uni-directionality of our lives.’
      • ‘I'm still at NYU, giving a seminar this afternoon on inflation and the arrow of time.’
      • ‘In other words, in the microworld, there is no intrinsic arrow of time, distinguishing the future from the past.’
      • ‘If the thermodynamic arrow of time [for periods much shorter than Poincare's recurrence time] is to be explained by entropy increase, as Boltzmann hoped, then we want to know why entropy was so low in the past.’
      • ‘In physics, a question which often bothers theoreticians is the origin of an arrow of time.’
      • ‘There are at least two other branches of physical theory in which raise the question of the arrow of time, as it is sometimes called.’
      • ‘The idea that time's arrow is unidirectional is really an observation.’
      • ‘There was a conference on Wheeler Feynman electrodynamics and the arrow of time, in 1963.’
  • straight as an arrow

    • Perfectly straight, with no deviation.

      • ‘In Afghanistan, where the roads run straight as an arrow across baking plains, they came across an accident.’
      • ‘The rope flew down, straight as an arrow into the stranger's hands.’
      • ‘They know the proper streamline is with the head looking down, hands together and the body straight as an arrow, with the head just under the water surface.’
      • ‘The river sliced through the scoop, straight as an arrow, to the precipice, where, with great tumult and crescendo, it dropped into the abyss.’
      • ‘Kat continued straight as an arrow on her course.’
      • ‘Ayako sat down on the plush red couch and sat at attention, her back straight as an arrow.’
      • ‘Don's swing was straight as an arrow throughout the backswing, down to the release point.’
      • ‘There was one perfect crack that was in varying girth, but straight as an arrow.’
      • ‘He wore his hair short to the skull with a narrow, little part shaved up one side straight as an arrow, and he had a pencil-thin mustache, like Errol Flynn, folds in the back of his neck like fat pleats, and beady black rat eyes.’
      • ‘Trudy stood straight as an arrow, pure hatred glowing in her face.’
      • ‘The giant stood in one place - straight as an arrow and tense as a string on a bow.’
      • ‘A track doubles back and angles up Northdale Rigg, straight as an arrow and into the heather.’
      • ‘Adela Breton, there she is, one of a vanished breed of tough Englishwomen, dressed neatly in the full Edwardian regalia of the day, every hair in place, and spine straight as an arrow!’
      • ‘The road leading down from the hill was straight as an arrow and connected directly to the docks.’
      • ‘It doesn't go right or left or this or that; it just goes straight as an arrow.’

Origin

Old English arewe, arwe, from Old Norse.

Pronunciation

arrow

/ˈerō//ˈɛroʊ/