/ahr"cheuh ree/, n.
1. the art, practice, or skill of an archer.
2. archers collectively, as in an army.
3. the equipment of an archer, as bows and arrows.
[1350-1400; ME archerye < MF archerie, equiv. to arch(i)er ARCHER + -ie -Y3]

* * *

Sport of shooting with bow and arrow.

As the bow began to be replaced by the gun as the principal weapon of warfare and the hunt beginning in the 16th century, it increasingly became a sporting device. By the mid-19th century, many archery clubs had sprung up in England and the U.S. Competitions including target-shooting were held at the Olympic Games in the early 20th century, but were then suspended until 1972. Other varieties of archery include field archery, or roving (a simulation of hunting), and flight shooting (a distance event).

* * *

▪ 2003

      There were two world field archery championships in 2002. The International Field Archery Association (IFAA) held its biennial championship on extremely difficult terrain in Dollar, Scot., on August 4–9, while the Fédération Internationale de Tir à l'Arc (FITA) held its championship in Canberra, Australia, on moderate terrain, on September 10–14.

      In the IFAA event, after five complete daily rounds with no rain (a small miracle), Jeff Button of the U.S. won the gold medal in the men's professional unlimited division with a total score of 2,752 out of 2,800 possible points. The silver went to Chris Deston and the bronze to Larry Wise, both also Americans. Carolyn Elder won the women's professional limited gold medal over fellow American Judy McCutcheon. In the hotly contested men's amateur unlimited division, England swept the medals. Chris White had a winning total score of 2,768. Second place went to Tim Mundon and third to Ben Jones.

      At the five-day FITA championship, the top eight participants in each division shot five final targets apiece to determine the medal winners. The women's barebow champion was Reingild Linhart of Austria over Monika Jentges of Germany, while the bronze went to Britain's Patricia Lovell. The men's gold was won by Martin Ottosson of Sweden over Twan Cleven of The Netherlands and Italy's Danielle Bellotti. Laure Barczynski of France captured the women's recurve division 52–51 (out of 60) over silver medalist Cristina Loriatt of Italy. Another Italian, Irene Franchini, won the bronze. The men's recurve gold medal went to Italy's Michele Frangilli, who shot an outstanding 57 to beat German Sebastian Rohrberg's 55. Alan Wils of Great Britain won the bronze. In the men's compound bow division, American David Cousins beat Britain's Chris White 60–58, while Stephane Dardenne of France secured the bronze. The women's champion was France's Catherine Pellen over Sweden's Karin Teghammer. Third place went to Anne Laurila of Finland.

      In the FITA team competition, Sweden captured both the men's and women's gold medals. Austria won the women's silver, and Australia took the bronze. The men's silver was won by Germany, with Italy finishing third.

Larry Wise

▪ 2002

      In world archery competition, U.S. senior teams won two gold and two silver medals at the Fédération Internationale de Tir à l'Arc (FITA) world indoor target championships in Florence in March 2001. The U.S. junior teams held their own by winning two gold and one silver.

      The senior men's recurve team of Richard (“Butch”) Johnson, Joseph McGlyn, and Vic Wunderle defeated Russia in the gold medal round. The senior women's team took the silver medal in the recurve, behind the victorious Russians. The junior women's recurve team also earned the silver, losing to Ukraine in the final.

      In the compound bow division, the senior women's team of Ashley Kamuf, Michelle Ragsdale, and Mary Zorn (who also won gold in the individual competition) edged France in the final. The Italians prevailed over the Americans to take the men's compound gold. The U.S. junior teams both won gold in the compound division.

      The FITA world outdoor championships, held in Beijing, were not so kind to the U.S. team. Team members were scheduled to fly to China on the morning of September 11 but found themselves grounded after the terrorist attacks on the East Coast. The competition went on as scheduled on September 16–22, but without the Americans. Dejan Sitar of Slovenia won the men's individual compound title, and Ulrika Sjöwall of Sweden captured the women's. In the recurve championships, South Koreans showed the way, with Yeon Jung Ki and Park Sung Hyun winning the men's and women's divisions, respectively. Team gold medals went to Norway in the men's compound division and France in the women's compound. The South Korean men won the recurve gold, while in an upset the Chinese women gained the recurve team title for the host country.

      At the U.S. National Field Archery Association (NFAA) indoor championships March 31–April 1, Ragsdale and George Ryals each won a shoot-off to break ties for the champions bowls in the professional freestyle competition. At the NFAA outdoor championships in July, Ragsdale made it a clean sweep, and the men's champions bowl went to Michael Anderson in a shoot-off.

Larry Wise

▪ 2001

      At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, archery provided two different stories—one of continuing domination by a women's team and another of a rising new star in his home country. Wind on the second day of the 70 m (1 m = 3.28 ft) qualifying rounds was the only negative during the six-day event, which ended on September 22.

      South Korea completely dominated the women's competition. Yun Mi Jin won the gold, besting her teammates Kim Nam Soon and Kim Soo Nyung by 107–106 and 107–105, respectively, on a 12-arrow match worth 120 points. The same three joined forces to defeat Ukraine 251–239 in the team final, and Germany won the women's team bronze.

      Australian Simon Fairweather rose above all comers to win the men's gold medal after having finished outside the top 10 in the two previous Olympics. In Sydney, Fairweather, who had worked with a South Korean coach since 1996, shot consistently throughout the qualifying and elimination rounds and defeated American Vic Wunderle 113–106 in the gold-medal round. Wietse Van Alten of The Netherlands downed Magnus Petersson of Sweden for the bronze. South Korea won more gold when its men's team beat Italy 255–247 for the gold medal. The American squad of Wunderle, Richard (“Butch”) Johnson, and Rodney White tied with Russia for third and won the bronze medal in a shoot-off 29–26.

      In the U.S. the 116th National Archery Association national outdoor target championships were held in Canton, Mich. Johnson won the recurve title, with Wunderle and Jay Barrs finishing second and third, respectively. The men's compound winner was Dave Cousins, followed by Rich Freitas and Jeff McNail. In the ladies recurve division, Karen Scavotto won over Janet Dykman and Denise Parker. The women's compound victor was Christie Bisco; Mary Zorn took second place just one point ahead of Michelle Ragsdale. At the National Field Archery Association outdoor national championships in Darrington, Wash., Cousins was the winner in pro freestyle, Becky Pearson won in pro female freestyle, and Steve Gibbs prevailed in the pro freestyle limited division.

Larry Wise

▪ 2000

      In this pre-Olympic Games year, 68 nations sent more than 550 archers to Riom, France, for the 1999 Fédération Internationale de Tir à l'Arc (FITA) world target championships. As in the Olympics, this event was contested at 90-, 70-, 50-, and 30-m distances, with final head-to-head elimination rounds at 70 m (1 m=3.28 ft) in both the individual and team events.

      After windy conditions for the qualifying rounds, the weather improved for the finals, as did the scores. Catherine Pellen of France defeated Shish Ya-ping of Taiwan 113–109 for the ladies' compound championship, while Fabiola Palazzini of Italy outpointed Huang Chong-yu of Taiwan 114–111 to win the bronze medal. Dave Cousins of the U.S. won the men's compound gold medal by a score of 116–114 over Steve Gooden of Great Britain. The bronze medal was won by Tibor Ondrik of Hungary over Gerhard Kranabeter of Austria 118–112.

      In the ladies' recurve championship round, Kim Jo Sun of South Korea won the bronze, defeating Sang Lin of China, and Lee Eun Kyung of South Korea won the gold medal over Britain's Alison Williamson by shooting a 115 out of 120 in the final pass at 70 m. The recurve men's gold went to Chil Hong Sung of South Korea over silver medalist Jari Lipponen of Finland. The bronze was won by local favorite Lionel Torres, who defeated Yury Leontyev of Russia in a one-arrow shoot-off 9–8.

      Recurve team competition resulted in the Italian women's defeat of the team from China 240–234 for the gold medal, while the German team beat Ukraine for the bronze. The Italian men also won gold, defeating the South Korean team 252–247. The bronze medal was won by the American men, who defeated The Netherlands 250–242. In compound team competition, the American men defeated the Hungarians 258–249 to win the gold medal, and Britain outshot the Swedish team 255–251 to take the bronze.

      In the U.S. the National Field Archery Association outdoor championship returned to Watkins Glen, N.Y., for five days of competition. Joe Kapp posted the first-place score, 2,780, in the professional men's unlimited division. Michelle Ragsdale, with a score of 2,757, won the championship bowl in the pro women's unlimited division.

Larry Wise

▪ 1999

      The 1998 European championships, four days of competition in the Olympic and compound bow divisions, were held in Boe, France, in August. The qualifying rounds were shot at 90 m, 70 m, 50 m, and 30 m, and the championship one-on-one rounds were all shot at 70 m (1 m = 3.28 ft). The men's Olympic bow winner was Baljinima Tsyrempilov of Russia, with Lionel Torres of France second and Igor Parkhomenko of Ukraine third. The women's champion was Lina Pavchuk of Ukraine, with Vladlena Priestman of the U.K. second and Natalia Valeeva of Italy third. The compound bow men's champion was Randall Thomas of France, with Dejan Sitar of Slovenia second and Peter Andersson of Sweden third. In the women's division Fabiola Palazzini of Italy finished first, with Fatima Agudo of Spain second and Maryann Richardson of the U.K. third.

      The National Archery Association (NAA) of the U.S. held its outdoor national championships in August in Canton, Mich. They consisted of two internationally sanctioned rounds shot at 90 m, 70 m, 50 m, and 30 m over four days of competition. The compound men's winner was Matt Cleland with a record score of 2,760 out of a possible 2,880; Roger Hoyle placed second and Pete Swanney third. The women's compound winner was Sally Wunderle; Tara Swanney placed second and Jamie Van Natta third. The Olympic bow men's winner was Victor Wunderle with a score of 2,634 out of a possible 2,880; Jason McKittrick placed second and Justin Huish third. In the women's Olympic bow division, Janet Dykman outshot Denise Parker (second) and Ruth Rowe (third) to win the title with a score of 2,615 out of 2,880.

      The NAA held its 18-m indoor championships in March at three locations. Richard Johnson won the men's Olympic bow division, and Ruth Rowe was the women's champion. The senior compound winners were Dave Cousins and Tara Swanney.


▪ 1998

      In August 1997 the biennial Fédération Internationale de Tir à l'Arc (FITA) world target championships were held in Victoria, B.C., with preliminary rounds shot at 90 m, 70 m, 50 m, and 30 m (1 m = 3.28 ft). One-on-one shooting determined the champions. In the women's Olympic (recurve) division, Kim Du Ri of South Korea defeated Cornelia Pfohl of Germany. The men's Olympic division was won by Kim Kyung Ho of South Korea, with a narrow 108-107 victory over Christophe Peignois of Belgium. Fabiola Palazzini of Italy captured the gold medal in the women's compound bow, and Catherine Pellen of France won silver. Dee Wilde won the men's compound title over fellow American Terry Ragsdale 109-105.

      At the U.S. National Field Archery Association (NFAA) indoor championship in March, the top male unlimited professional division ended in a three-way tie at 118 x-rings out of 120. Ken Young, Roger Hoyle, and George Ryals shot two ends of five arrows to determine Young the winner by one x-ring. Pro women's unlimited champion Michelle Ragsdale posted an impressive 117 score on the same difficult 4-cm (1.6-in) centre-ring target. She also swept the same division at the NFAA outdoor championship in July. Russ Weatherbee won the men's outdoor pro unlimited trophy, and Steve Gibbs was the limited men's winner in this five-day, 500-arrow tournament. Waldo Cleland was awarded the Shooter of the Year title for posting the highest total score for all four NFAA championships held during the year.

      The U.S. National Archery Association (NAA) indoor champions were Richard Johnson and Janet Dykman in the Olympic bow division, while Mark Penaz and Becky Pearson won in the compound bow division. At the NAA national target championship in August, Richard ("Butch") Johnson won the men's Olympic bow division with a score of 2,631 out of a maximum 2,880. The women's Olympic bow winner was Dykman with 2,606. In the largest compound division ever, the winners were Kevin Eldredge with 2,637 and Diane Hooper with 2,594.


▪ 1997

      With a score of 251 out of a possible 270, the United States men's team of Richard Johnson, Justin Huish, and Rod White won the gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games. No country had been a clear favourite. In women's competition South Korea, with Kim Jo Sun, Kim Kyung Wook, and Yoon Hye Young, won its third consecutive Olympic gold, as expected, with a final-round victory of 245-235 over Germany. Large scoreboards, both men and women shooting from 70 m, judges in concealed bunkers in front of the target, and instant posting of scores were new features of the competition that won approval from daily crowds of more than 5,000.

      The men's silver medal was taken by South Korea, which lost to the U.S. by only two points in a contest that required close examination of several arrows. The bronze went to Italy, which posted 247 to Australia's 244. Poland upset Turkey 244-239 to win the women's bronze medal.

      In the individual competition the women's gold medalist was Kim Kyung Wook with a 113-107 win (120 perfect) over He Ying of China. Olena Sadovnycha of Ukraine won the bronze medal by defeating Elif Altinkaynak of Turkey.

      The men's gold went to Huish, who defeated Magnus Petersson of Sweden in the 12-arrow final 112-107 (120 perfect). Oh Kyo Moon of South Korea scored a record-high 115 to defeat Paul Vermeiren of Belgium for the bronze.

      In the U.S. the National Field Archery Association indoor winners in the unlimited professional division were Terry Ragsdale and Nancy Zorn. The limited professional winners were Carolyn Elder and William Boyd. In the outdoor competition the unlimited pro champions were Doug Williams, Jr., and Inga Low, and the limited pro winners were Lori Draeving and Steve Gibbs. (LARRY WISE)

▪ 1996

      At the 1995 world outdoor target archery championships, held in Jakarta, Indon., August 1-6, the United States won the combined team men's trophy, and Sweden took the women's prize. For the first time since the formation of the sport's governing body in 1931, a new bow division, the Compound, was included in the competition. The tournament had particular significance because it was the qualifying meet for the 1996 Olympic Games.

      Individual men's winners included, in the Olympic Division, Lee Kyung Chul of South Korea and, in the Compound Division, Gary Broadhead of the U.S. The women's champions were Natalya Valeyeva of Moldova in the Olympic Division and Angela Moscarelli of the U.S. in the Compound. Men's team winners were South Korea in the Olympic Division and France in the Compound. The champion women's teams were South Korea in the Olympic Division and the U.S. in the Compound. The U.S. gained the most medals in the tournament, with three golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. South Korea placed second with three golds and two bronzes.

      In March the U.S. National Field Archery Association (NFAA) held its annual indoor championship in Tulsa, Okla. When all 1,000 archers had shot their last arrow, Carolyn Elder and Jason Street were the Limited winners. Linda Klosterman won the women's Unlimited title, and Kenny Young won his first national Unlimited championship with a strong perfect second round.

      The 1995 NFAA National Field outdoor champions were crowned in July at Wausau, Wis. The 1995 Limited titles were won by Carolyn Elder and Steve Gibbs. Nancy Zorn won the women's Unlimited championship, and Mike Leiter won his seventh men's Unlimited title. The highlight of the weeklong tournament was the first-ever perfect 560 Hunter round shot by Terry Ragsdale. (LARRY WISE)

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  sport involving shooting arrows with a bow (bow and arrow), either at an inanimate target or in hunting.

  From prehistoric times, the bow was a principal weapon of war and of the hunt throughout the world, except in Australia. Recreational archery also was practiced, along with military, among the ancient Egyptians and Greeks (ancient Greek civilization), one instance of the latter being the competition in which Odysseus won the hand of Penelope. The Huns, Seljuq Turks, Mongols, and other nomadic horse archers dominated large parts of Asia for about 15 centuries from the 1st century AD. English longbowmen achieved glorious military victories in the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453), while on continental Europe the crossbow became widely used, especially in Switzerland, parts of Germany, France, and the Low Countries. In Europe the bow and arrow were displaced by firearms as a military weapon in the 16th century. By the time the Spanish Armada attempted to invade England in 1588, an English county troop levy consisted of one-third bowmen to two-thirds soldiers with guns, and by century's end the bow had been almost abandoned as a weapon.

      The bow was retained as a hunting weapon, and archery continued to be practiced as a sport in England by both royalty and the general public. The earliest English archery societies dated from the 16th and 17th centuries. The prince of Wales, afterward George IV, became the patron of the Toxophilite Society in 1787 and set the prince's lengths of 100 yards (91 metres), 80 yards (73 metres), and 60 yards (55 metres); these distances are still used in the British men's championship York round (six dozen, four dozen, and two dozen arrows shot at each of the three distances). These recreational activities with the bow evolved into the modern sport of archery. In 1844 the first of the Grand National Archery Meetings—the British championships—was held at York, and the Grand National Archery Society became the governing body of the sport in the United Kingdom. International rules were standardized in 1931 with the founding of the Fédération Internationale de Tir à l'Arc (FITA; Federation of International Target Archery) in Paris.

      The first American (United States) archery organization was the United Bowmen of Philadelphia, founded in 1828. In the early days the sport was, as in England, a popular upper- and middle-class recreation. In the 1870s many archery clubs sprang up, and in 1879 eight of them formed the National Archery Association of the United States. In 1939 the National Field Archery Association of the United States was established to promote hunting, roving, and field archery. The number of archers around the world increased phenomenally after 1930, led by remarkable growth in the United States. By the late 20th century there were probably more than 10 million American participants in all forms of the sport. Their ranks included those who use the bow to hunt game; those who engage in shooting at targets of several kinds at various distances for accuracy; and those who strive for ever-greater distances in “flight” shooting.

The bow
      The bow was almost certainly the earliest mechanical device to achieve greater speed in a projectile than could be attained by throwing it. It does this by accumulating energy in the bow limbs while drawing (pulling the bowstring back), storing it temporarily while holding and aiming, and releasing the stored energy by converting it to energy of flight in the arrow. Initially, and probably for millennia, bows were made of a single material, usually wood (self bows), including those in which two pieces were fastened together to make the equivalent of a single long stave. Later, some bows were made of several materials, such as wood and horn glued together in layers (composite bows) and reinforced with bands of sinew. The short self bows used in Europe until the late Middle Ages were weak weapons that gave way to the technically superior longbow beginning in the 11th century. The English longbow, made of wood from the English yew tree (Taxus baccata), became famous in legend and history for the victories it won over the French at the battles of Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War. Composite bows made of wood, horn, and sinew were used throughout much of Asia during the same period.

      Up to about 1930 the history of Western archery as a sport was the history of the longbow. This bow had disadvantages, however. It was subject to differing conditions of temperature and humidity, it needed to be left unstrung when not in use, and using it was an art. The bow that replaced it in the mid-20th century was a composite design made of laminated wood, plastic, and fibreglass that was little affected by changes of temperature and humidity. The limbs of the composite bow are laminated, with a thin strip of wood serving as a core for facing and backing strips of fibreglass that are secured to it with epoxy glue. The bow's rigid middle section gives the archer a good grip, and its thin, wide, fibreglass limbs are exceedingly strong. The composite bow gives superior accuracy, velocity, and distance in comparison to the longbow. Using a modern bow, target archers of equal skill can score an average 30 to 40 percent higher than they can with the longbow. The modern composite bow shoots farther than the longbow: a maximum distance of more than 775 metres (850 yards) has been obtained with it, compared to about 275 metres (300 yards) for the longbow. The efficiency (the percentage of energy in a fully drawn bow that is transferred to the arrow at the moment of loose) of the modern bow doubles that of the longbow, the velocity of the arrow with the new bow reaching 65 metres (213 feet) per second as opposed to 45 metres (150 feet) per second. The wooden arrows used by archers for millennia have been replaced by ones made from aluminum-alloy or fibreglass tubing, and plastic fins have replaced feathers. The arrows' points are made of steel, and nylon is used for the bowstring.

      A more recent innovation is the compound bow, which uses a system of cables and pulleys to make the bow easier to draw. Compound bows have achieved increasing popularity since a two-pulley design was introduced in the 1960s. They are used in field archery, in hunting, and in international target archery competition. See also bow and arrow.

      The modern target bow varies in length according to the height of the archer but averages 173 cm (68 inches). Similarly, arrows vary, but an average arrow is 56 cm (22 inches). The drawing force of a bow—that is, the energy required to draw back an arrow to the fullest—varies from 14 to 23 kg (30 to 50 pounds) for men and from 9 to 18 kg (20 to 40 pounds) for women. The archer usually carries arrows in a quiver, a container hung over the shoulder or slung from the belt. A glove or finger protector shields the fingers used to draw the bowstring back, and a bracer is fitted to the inside forearm of the bow arm to protect against the released bowstring. In Western nations, the so-called Mediterranean draw is used to draw and loose the arrow; this is executed by pulling the string back with three fingers, the first being above and the second and third below the nocked arrow. In right-handed shooting, the arrow is shot from the left side of the bow.

      An outdoor archery range is most desirably laid out on level turf north to south, with shooting done to the north. Some competitions, however, take place indoors. A target is usually a boss of tightly coiled straw rope about 1.22 metres (4 feet) in diameter on which is stretched a canvas face with concentric scoring rings (British, 5 rings; FITA, 10), scored 9, 7, 5, 1 outward from the centre (British; also used in the United States) and 10 through 1 (FITA). Target sizes vary at different distances.

      Additional pieces of equipment have become common with the increasing popularity of the sport. These include devices attached to the bow, such as stabilizers (long rods that project from the bow), torque flight compensators (shorter rods with weights attached), counterweight rods, and lens-less bowsights (devices used for aiming). When these devices are allowed, competition is called freestyle; when they are not, it is known as bare bow.

 The main forms of competitive archery are field archery and target archery. In field archery, competitors shoot arrows at different-sized targets set at varying and undetermined distances around a course. In target archery, competitors shoot a specified number of arrows at set distances at a target with established scoring values. A round is a target-shooting competitive event in which a specified number of arrows are shot at a specified distance, and scoring is done after the round or rounds. Principal kinds of rounds include the American round, Hereford round, National round, and York round. FITA round distances are 90, 70, 50, and 30 metres (295, 230, 164, and 98 feet) for men and 70, 60, 50, and 30 metres for women, and the standard FITA round for both men and women consisted of 36 arrows per round being shot at each distance. Since the 1930s the FITA specifications have been those most widely used. (See also FITA round.)

      Archery events for men were held in the Olympic Games in 1900, 1904, 1908, and 1920 and for women in 1904 and 1908. They were then suspended until the 1972 Games, when they were reintroduced for both men and women and continued thereafter. World championship matches have been held on either an annual or biennial basis from 1931 (except during World War II), when FITA, the international governing body of the sport, was organized. FITA events (including Olympic Games from 1972) are shot at metric distances, and from 1957 to 1985 in double FITA rounds. In 1985, to improve archery as a spectator sport, a new championship round known as the grand FITA round, with single-elimination matches, was adopted. The grand FITA round first appeared in the Olympic Games in 1988, when team competition was introduced to the program. The 1992 Olympic Games saw the debut of the FITA Olympic round, a championship round of single-elimination, head-to-head matches.

Other forms of sport archery
       clout shooting originated at least as early as the late 16th century and is mainly British. flight shooting was practiced in England at the end of the 16th century and was also popular in Turkey with a composite bow.

Paul E. Klopsteg Ed.

Select archery championships

FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships (men)
       FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships-men FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships-menWinners of the men's FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships are provided in the table.

FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships (women)
       FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships-women FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships-womenWinners of the women's FITA World Outdoor Target Archery Championships are provided in the table.

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Universalium. 2010.

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