American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An arrow with a wide barbed head.
- n. Chiefly British A wide arrowhead mark identifying government property.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The royal mark of British government stores of every description, which it is felony to obliterate or deface. Persons unlawfully in possession of goods marked with the broad-arrow forfeit the goods and are subject to a penalty of £200 The broad-arrow was the cognizance of Henry, Viscount Sydney, Earl of Romney, Master-general of Ordnance from 1693 to 1702, and was first used in his time. In heraldry it differs from the pheon (which see) in having the inside of the barbs plain.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A mark placed upon British ordnance and government stores, which bears a rude resemblance to a broad arrowhead.
- adj. originally a pheon. See Pheon, and Broad arrow under Arrow.
- n. an arrowhead mark identifying British government property
- n. a mark shaped like an arrowhead; used to mark convicts' clothing
- n. an arrow with a wide barbed head
“Right so came that lady the huntress, that knew by the dog that she had, that the hind was at the soil in that well; and there she came stiffly and found the hind, and she put a broad arrow in her bow, and shot at the hind, and over-shot the hind; and so by misfortune the arrow smote Sir Launcelot in the thick of the buttock, over the barbs.”
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