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There was the poor bear, spluttering away in the water, and trying his hardest to swim whilst the goldfish darted at him in fury.

What does to dart at mean in this context? Does it mean "attack"?

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I think this should be general reference: dictionary.reference.com/browse/dart?s=t –  Kaiser Octavius Jun 22 '13 at 14:26
    
I know what "dart" normally means. I have a dictionary. but "dart at" in this context? I have no clue, and dictionaries were of no help to me. –  rery Jun 22 '13 at 14:31
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It's really simple, actually. You scroll down to the intransitive verb in the Dictionary.com entry, and you find that dart means, "to move swiftly; spring or start suddenly and run swiftly". Then you infer that to dart at means, "to move swiftly at; spring or start suddenly and run swiftly at", and there you have it. –  Kaiser Octavius Jun 22 '13 at 14:33
    
OK I do need this translated into Arabic. Well in Arabic it wouldn't sound natural if I say the goldfish is moving rapidly at the bear. So I do need the connotation not the denotation. goldfish making it hard for him to swim? attacking him?? helping him? –  rery Jun 22 '13 at 14:50
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It isn't a phrasal verb. It hasn't been lexicalized (reinterpreted as a single element) or idiomatized (given idiomatic meaning you cannot figure out from the individual elements). I think the connotation, if any, comes from darted. The goldfish was moving (figuratively) like a dart. –  snailboat Jun 22 '13 at 14:55

1 Answer 1

In this context, dart is Verb, it means "To move suddenly and rapidly", check here http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dart.

Those goldfish are moving rapidly at him. I think it's understandable

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