• (RP) IPA: /ɑːs/
  • (Aus, New Zealand) IPA: /ɐːs/
  • (Ireland, America) IPA: /ɑɹs/

arse (plural arses)

  1. (current in UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, dated in New England, now, vulgar) The buttocks or more specifically, the anus.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, [;view=fulltext chapter iij], in Le Morte Darthur, book XII:
      & thenne he rode after the bore / & thenne syre laūcelot was ware where the bore set his ars to a tree by an hermytage / Thenne sir launcelot ranne atte bore with his spere / & ther with the bore torned hym nemly
    • 2011, James Smart, The Guardian, 12 March:
      As the novel progresses, he is shot in the hand with his own gun, shot in the arse with someone else's and lacerated by a prosthetic weed trimmer.
  2. (chiefly, UK, pejorative slang) A stupid, mean or despicable person.
    • 2007, Martin Harrison, The Judgement of Paris, [ p.282]:
      “You're an arse,” Ellen said. ¶ “Please? You must like something about me …?” ¶ “I do. You're an arse. I just told you that. I feel comfy with you, because you're such an arse.”
    • 2007, L. A. Wilson, The Silurian: Book One: The Fox and the Bear, [ p.103]:
      He looked at me, was just about to call me an arse, when I told him, “You throw it too hard. Try and think of the javelin hitting the target before you throw it. Let it all go through your mind first, see it, feel it, then throw it.” ¶ “Good advice, you arse,” he said and tried again.
    • 2011, Joe Abercrombie, The Heroes, [ unnumbered page]:
      Felnigg. What a suppurating arse. Look at him. Arse.

arse (arses, present participle arsing; past arsed, past participle arsed)

  1. (slang, intransitive) To be silly, act stupid or mess around.
    Stop arsing around!
    • 1985, Sam McAughtry, McAughtry's War, [ page 10],
      He was university material, just arsing about as a rigger, arsing about, killing time with bohunks like me […] .
    • 2005, Keri Hulme, The Bone People, [ page 291],
      Pi, upset, roars, "Quit arsing around there and get cracking," and a dozen heads turn their way.
    • 2011, Jaine Fenn, Bringer of Light, [ unnumbered page],
      He was half-expecting a call from the lingua, telling him to stop arsing around, but his com stayed silent, so it looked like a certain amount of arsing around was allowed.



  1. (enzyme) Abbreviation of arylsulfatase#English|arylsulfatase E, an enzyme, deficiencies in which are associated with abnormalities in cartilage and bone development.

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