kenneth arrow


  1. Kenneth Joseph,born 1921, U.S. economist: Nobel Prize 1972.


  1. a long slender pointed weapon, usually having feathers fastened at the end as a balance, that is shot from a bowRelated adjective: sagittal
  2. any of various things that resemble an arrow in shape, function, or speed, such as a sign indicating direction or position

early 14c., from Old English arwan, earlier earh “arrow,” possibly borrowed from Old Norse ör (genitive örvar), from Proto-Germanic *arkhwo (cf. Gothic arhwanza), from PIE root *arku- “bow and/or arrow,” source of Latin arcus (see arc (n.)). The ground sense would be “the thing belonging to the bow,” perhaps a superstitious avoidance of the actual name.

A rare word in Old English, where more common words for “arrow” were stræl (cognate with the word still common in Slavic, once prevalent in Germanic, too; meaning related to “flash, streak”) and fla, flan, a North Germanic word, perhaps originally with the sense of “splinter.” Stræl disappeared by 1200; fla lingered in Scottish until after 1500. Meaning “a mark like an arrow in cartography, etc.” is from 1834.

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