Definition of ark in English:


See synonyms for ark on

Translate ark into Spanish


  • 1the ark(in the Bible) the ship built by Noah to save his family and two of every kind of animal from the Flood; Noah's ark.

    1. 1.1A vessel or sanctuary that serves as protection against extinction.
      ‘a starship ark built by their android protectors’
      • ‘Then we will escape the sun on mighty space arks and spread our glorious species throughout the galaxy!’
      • ‘With the earlier naturalization of the shad, and later addition of the striped bass, the second aquarium car was a sort of piscine ark.’
      • ‘A Cornish claypit has been transformed into an Eden where over 4,000 species of plants from all over the world flourish under a series of great domes, creating a kind of botanical ark.’
      • ‘A huge interstellar ark arrives in orbit around a star and the humans discover to their surprise that there's intelligent life on one of the planets.’
      • ‘Well the scheme to create a kind of genetic ark is well underway at Taronga Zoo and Monash University in Melbourne.’
    2. 1.2 archaic A chest or box.
      ‘the ark was of Italian walnut’
      • ‘All traces of the ark, the sacred chest that Moses had built by divine instruction to safeguard the tablets of the law, were lost after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 587 BC.’
      • ‘They take much more folding and manipulating than the broadsheets used to when used to line the bottom of the hens' ark.’
      • ‘As previously mentioned we've decided to buy a bigger Forsham ark to accommodate our planned additional hens.’
    3. 1.3 archaic A large, flat-bottomed boat.
      ‘So many of the chapters offer versions of the ark, boats built for human survival against the storms of God and/or nature.’
      • ‘And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.’
      • ‘Irving Berlin sailed in his beloved ark to the age of 101.’
  • 2

    1. 2.1A chest or cupboard housing the Torah scrolls in a synagogue.
      ‘Surprisingly, similar domes were found on the two Holy Arks in Livorno on the western coast of Italy.’
      • ‘The woodwork of the Aron Hakodesh, the Holy Ark in which the Torah is stored, is original.’
      • ‘The bold phrase from the Psalms stands in relief over most Holy Arks in the synagogues.’
      • ‘Three Holy Arks are set into the thick southern wall with a colorful rose window above them.’
      • ‘Donated by New York financier and philanthropist Ira Rennert, the new Holy Ark was designed by Avraham Avargel - the same architect who constructed the large Ark at the Western Wall plaza.’
      • ‘In the sixteenth century the vessels of the Tabernacle motif appeared on the inner sides of the doors of the Holy Arks in Synagogues.’
      • ‘There are six arches on each side of the Holy Ark corresponding to the number of books of the Mishna; each arch has a pole with five bulbs representing the five books of the Torah.’
      • ‘When his eye caught sight of the Holy Ark, he put down his broom and approached it.’
      • ‘The Holy Ark was made of cedar wood covered with gold (in essence a wooden box between two gold ones).’
      • ‘The synagogue possesses two Aron Hakodeshim (Holy Arks) on the eastern front, where the entrance is.’
      • ‘Traces of Holy Arks, between the three openings, were discovered as well.’
      • ‘In 1953 they pictured Holy Arks from synagogues in the Israeli cities of Jerusalem, Petah Tikvah, and Safed.’
      • ‘This symbol, which also appears above Holy Arks, originates in the Bible: ‘He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust ".’
      • ‘Likewise, a room to contain the various Holy Arks that store the many Torah scrolls used on Mondays and Thursdays, Shabbatot and Festivals at the Western Wall will be built in one of the halls adjacent to the prayer hall.’
      • ‘There were two Arons (Holy Arks) in the camp of Israel.’
  • 3

    (also ark shell)
    A widely distributed bivalve mollusk that typically attaches itself to rocks with byssus threads.

    Order Arcoidea: Arca and other genera

    ‘Our primary goals are to characterize patterns of morphological variation within and between geminate arks and evaluate the utility of shell shape for distinguishing between recent geminate species.’
    • ‘The oldest records about ark shells are found in Fishery Production List of 1814.’
    • ‘More than seven species of the Ark shells are found in the Galveston Bay region.’
    • ‘The Twisted Ark Shell has a nearly paper-thin, delicate shell, which is substantially larger than the smaller strong, heavy shell of the Ponderous Ark shell.’
    • ‘A test of genetic population structure showed that the ark shell in Korea formed a large genetic group.’
    sanctuary, place of shelter, refuge, accommodation, housing, home, place of safety, haven, safe haven, sanctum, safe house



/ärk/ /ɑrk/


    have gone out with the ark
    British informal
    • Be very old-fashioned.

      • ‘this kind of variety entertainment went out with the ark’
      • ‘the lessons were boring and taught by somebody out of the ark’


Old English ærc, from Latin arca ‘chest’.