Short for Address Resolution Protocol, a network layer protocol used to convert an IP address into a physical address (called a DLC address), such as an Ethernet address. A host wishing to obtain a physical address broadcastsan ARP request onto the TCP/IP network. The host on the network that has the IP address in the request then replies with its physical hardware address.
There is also Reverse ARP (RARP)which can be used by a host to discover its IP address. In this case, the host broadcasts its physical address and a RARP server replies with the host’s IP address.