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arrive +‎ -al


  • enPR: ə-rīv'əl, IPA(key): /əˈɹaɪ.vəl/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪvəl


arrival (countable and uncountable, plural arrivals)

  1. The act of arriving (reaching a certain place).
    The early arrival of the bride created a stir.
  2. The fact of reaching a particular point in time.
    He celebrated the arrival of payday with a shopping spree.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii]:
      O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
      To spend that shortness basely were too long,
      If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
      Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
    • 1860 December – 1861 August, Charles Dickens, chapter XVII, in Great Expectations [], volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published October 1861, OCLC 3359935, page 266:
      I now fell into a regular routine of apprenticeship-life, which was varied [] by no more remarkable circumstance than the arrival of my birthday and my paying another visit to Miss Havisham.
    • 2000, Zadie Smith, White Teeth, New York: Vintage, Chapter 15, p. 327,[1]
      It was a place [] where to count on the arrival of tomorrow was an indulgence, and every service in the house, from the milkman to the electricity, was paid for on a strictly daily basis so as not to spend money on utilities or goods that would be wasted should God turn up in all his holy vengeance the very next day.
  3. The fact of beginning to occur; the initial phase of something.
    Synonym: onset
    The arrival of puberty can be especially challenging for transgender youth.
    • 1951, William Styron, Lie Down in Darkness, New York: Modern Library, Chapter 6, p. 306,[2]
      a raw scraping in the back of his throat, which announced the arrival of a bad cold
    • 1995, Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, Part 11, p. 513,[3]
      Streetlamps started to flicker tentatively—yellow buds, intimating the arrival of the full glow.
  4. The attainment of an objective, especially as a result of effort.
    Synonyms: advent, introduction
    The arrival of the railway made the local tourist industry viable.
    • 1973, Jan Morris, Heaven’s Command, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980, Part 3, Chapter 21, p. 411,[4]
      All the admirals had grown up in sail, and many of them viewed the arrival of steam with undisguised dislike []
    • 2013 July 20, “Out of the gloom”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      [T]he rapid arrival of electric light to Indian villages is long overdue.
  5. A person who has arrived; a thing that has arrived.
    Synonyms: arrivant, arriver
    There has been a significant growth in illegal arrivals.
    • 1823, Lord Byron, Don Juan, London: John Hunt, Canto 11, stanza 68, p. 137,[5]
      Saloon, room, hall o’erflow beyond their brink,
      And long the latest of arrivals halts,
      ’Midst royal dukes and dames condemned to climb,
      And gain an inch of staircase at a time.
    • 1889, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, New York: Charles L. Webster, Chapter 24, p. 306,[6]
      The abbot and his monks were assembled in the great hall, observing with childish wonder and faith the performances of a new magician, a fresh arrival.
    • 1970, J. G. Farrell, Troubles, New York: Knopf, 1971, p. 72,[7]
      a raw apple [] that looked so fresh and shining that it might even have been an early arrival of the new season’s crop
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, chapter 14, in The Line of Beauty, New York: Bloomsbury, OCLC 1036692193, page 369:
      [] the whole bar was a fierce collective roar, and he edged and smiled politely through it like a sober late arrival at a wild party.


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