1. often Ark Bible The chest containing the Ten Commandments written on stone tablets, carried by the Hebrews during their desert wanderings. Also called Ark of the Covenant.
2. often Ark Judaism The Holy Ark.
3. Bible The boat built by Noah for survival during the Flood.
4. Nautical A large, commodious boat.
5. A shelter or refuge.
[Middle English, from Old English arc, from Germanic *arka, from Latin arca, chest.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.