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alarums and excursions

plural noun
1.
(especially in Elizabethan drama) military action, as representative fragments of a battle, sound effects of trumpets, or clash of arms: used as a stage direction.
2.
any noisy, frantic, or disorganized activity.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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