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alarm

[uh-lahrm] /əˈlɑrm/
noun
1.
a sudden fear or distressing suspense caused by an awareness of danger; apprehension; fright.
2.
any sound, outcry, or information intended to warn of approaching danger:
Paul Revere raced through the countryside raising the alarm that the British were coming.
3.
an automatic device that serves to call attention, to rouse from sleep, or to warn of fire, smoke, an intruder, etc.
4.
a warning sound; signal for attention.
5.
Animal Behavior. any sound, outcry, chemical discharge, action, or other signal that functions to draw attention to a potential predator.
6.
Fencing. an appeal or a challenge made by a step or stamp on the ground with the advancing foot.
7.
Archaic. a call to arms.
verb (used with object)
8.
to make fearful or apprehensive; distress.
9.
to warn of danger; rouse to vigilance and swift measures for safety.
10.
to fit or equip with an alarm or alarms, as for fire, smoke, or robbery:
to alarm one's house and garage.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English alarme, alarom < Middle French < Old Italian allarme, noun from phrase all'arme to (the) arms. See arm2
Related forms
alarmable, adjective
alarmedly
[uh-lahr-mid-lee] /əˈlɑr mɪd li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
prealarm, verb (used with object), noun
unalarmed, adjective
Synonyms
1. consternation; terror, panic. See fear. 8. See frighten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for alarm
  • Door chimes serve as the device's temperature alarm signals.
  • Forest biologists say that none of those historic specimens have yet been afflicted by the outbreak that has caused such alarm.
  • Others worry that the inevitable increase in dead kangaroos will alarm the campers who frequent the island.
  • We looked at each other with alarm, but to our surprise my brother tried on the jeans.
  • But the temptation of a discovery so singular and profound, at last overcame the suggestions of alarm.
  • Indicative more of terror or alarm than of real danger.
  • Such an argument was familiar enough and could only alarm the ignorant.
  • If any one believes this to be needless alarm, let him think a moment.
  • She was sad, but no longer showing alarm in her countenance.
  • When the alarm that had tricked them into marriage proved to be groundless, she was angry and said bitter, hurtful things.
British Dictionary definitions for alarm

alarm

/əˈlɑːm/
verb (transitive)
1.
to fill with apprehension, anxiety, or fear
2.
to warn about danger; alert
3.
to fit or activate a burglar alarm on a house, car, etc
noun
4.
fear or terror aroused by awareness of danger; fright
5.
apprehension or uneasiness: the idea of failing filled him with alarm
6.
a noise, signal, etc, warning of danger
7.
any device that transmits such a warning: a burglar alarm
8.
  1. the device in an alarm clock that triggers off the bell or buzzer
  2. short for alarm clock
9.
(archaic) a call to arms
10.
(fencing) a warning or challenge made by stamping the front foot
Derived Forms
alarming, adjective
alarmingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French alarme, from Old Italian all'arme to arms; see arm²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alarm
n.

early 14c., from Old French alarme (14c.), from Italian all'arme "to arms!" (literally "to the arms"). An interjection that came to be used as the word for the call or warning (cf. alert). Extended 16c. to "any sound to warn of danger or to arouse." Weakened sense of "apprehension, unease" is from 1833. Variant alarum is due to the rolling -r- in the vocalized form. Sometimes in early years anglicized as all-arm. Alarm clock is attested from 1690s (as A Larum clock).

v.

1580s, from alarm (n.). Related: Alarmed; alarming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for alarm

ALARM

air-launched antiradiation missile
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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alarm in the Bible

a particular quivering sound of the silver trumpets to give warning to the Hebrews on their journey through the wilderness (Num. 10:5, 6), a call to arms, or a war-note (Jer. 4:19; 49:2; Zeph. 1:16).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with alarm

alarm

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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