from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A series of arches supported by columns, piers, or pillars, either freestanding or attached to a wall to form a gallery.
  • n. A series of arches employed for decorative purposes.
  • n. A roofed passageway or lane, especially one with shops on one or both sides.
  • n. A commercial establishment featuring rows of coin-operated games.
  • transitive v. To provide with or form into an arcade: closed off and arcaded the narrow street.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A row of arches.
  • n. A covered passage, usually with shops on both sides.
  • n. An establishment that runs coin-operated games.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A series of arches with the columns or piers which support them, the spandrels above, and other necessary appurtenances; sometimes open, serving as an entrance or to give light; sometimes closed at the back (as in the cut) and forming a decorative feature.
  • n. A long, arched building or gallery.
  • n. An arched or covered passageway or avenue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Properly, a series of arches supported on piers or pillars.
  • n. A simple arched opening in a wall.
  • n. A vault or vaulted place.
  • n. Specifically, in some cities, a long arched passageway; a covered avenue, especially one that is lined with shops.
  • n. In anatomy and zoology, those portions of the cranium having an arch-like structure and running from the postero-external to the orbital region.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a covered passageway with shops and stalls on either side
  • n. a structure composed of a series of arches supported by columns


French, from Italian arcata, from arco, arch, from Latin arcus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French arcade, from Italian arcata ("arch of a bridge"), from Latin arcus ("arc"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • WordNet leaves out 'arcade' in the sense of 'venue for playing coin-operated video games, pinball, etc.'—as in 'penny arcade' and 'amusement arcade'.

    February 2, 2008