Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ARCH

A prefix forming compounds signifying a unit, an institution or person that has pre-eminence over other institutions or persons, e.g., archbishop, archchaplain, archdiocese. Arch (in architecture), a structure built of rigid blocks, shaped like wedges and put together in variously modified curved lines so that, when supported at its ends, it keeps its position by mutual pressure. The separate blocks are called arch stones; the lowest members of the arch are termed springers; the uppermost, when a single stone is used, is called the keystone. The supports of the arch are called piers and pillars, which receive vertical pressure, and abutments or buttresses, which resist lateral thrust or outward pressure. Of all types of arches the pointed arch is the strongest. (Etym. Latin arcus, bow, arch, vault, arc.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20