arch rival

anniem

New Member
United States
Does any one know where this expression came from or what exactly does "arch" mean in this context?
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hello Anniem,
    Welcome to the Forum. It's a good idea to try the dictionary before asking for further information here.

    Arch:
    adjective
    1*arch(a)
    (of persons) highest in rank or authority or office; "his arch rival"
    2*arch, condescending, patronizing, patronising
    *(used of behavior or attitude) characteristic of those who treat others with condescension
    3*arch(a)
    *expert in skulduggery; "an arch criminal"

    Just type the word in the box at the top of each forum page.

    best regards,
    Cuchufléte
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    anniem said:
    Does any one know where this expression came from or what exactly does "arch" mean in this context?
    One definition of arch is principal or chief. See, for example, Merriam-Webster Online

    So your arch rival is your principal rival.

    As for etymology, if you Google on etymology arch you will find that it comes from the Greek word arkhos meaning chief:

    arch (adj.) Look up arch at Dictionary.com
    1547, "chief, principal," from prefix arch- (from Gk. arkhos "chief"), used in 12c. archangel, etc., but extended to so many derogatory uses (arch-rogue, arch-knave, etc.) that it acquired a meaning of "roguish, mischievous," since softened to "saucy" (1662). Also found in archwife (c.1386) "A wife of a superior order."
     

    anniem

    New Member
    United States
    To Cuchuflete
    I had tried many different dictionaries at my disposal. If I had been able to find it there, I wouldn't have bothered to ask here.
    To Edwin
    Thank you very much for the information. You helped us solve a family question tonight.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    anniem said:
    To Cuchuflete
    I had tried many different dictionaries at my disposal. If I had been able to find it there, I wouldn't have bothered to ask here.
    To Edwin
    Thank you very much for the information. You helped us solve a family question tonight.
    Hello Annie...
    I'm sure this forum will take a little getting used to..

    Look up at the center top of this page. You should see a box like this:

    Search WordReference Dictionaries
    English monolingual

    Just type the word in the box and press "Go"

    That's where I got the definition in my earlier post.

    Of course these dictionaries don't have every word, and you are most welcome to ask questions in the forum.

    regards,
    Cuchu
     

    anniem

    New Member
    United States
    I appreciate your information on how to use this forum. However, the first definition in this dictionary refers to the meaning but does not give an adequate definition. "Highest in rank" really does not give a good reference. However Edwin's reply of principal for arch, therefore principal rival answers the question quite well.
     
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