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fire alarm

a signal that warns that a fire has started.
a bell, buzzer, siren, horn, etc., that provides such a signal.
Origin of fire alarm
1840-50, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fire-alarm
Historical Examples
  • The year the war began dates also, for New Orleans, the advent of two better things: street-cars and the fire-alarm telegraph.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • Here, at the first news of fire in the city, is sounded the fire-alarm.

    Autumn Impressions of the Gironde Isabel Giberne Sieveking
  • What's all this fire-alarm that's been sprung about a new elevator trust?

    The Wreckers Francis Lynde
  • Finally he rushed to his big gong and made it clatter like a fire-alarm.

    The Emerald City of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • In his agitation he gave such a tug at the bell that it clanged like a fire-alarm.

    Despair's Last Journey David Christie Murray
  • That fire-alarm thing scared him crazy—he's usually so good!

    Queed Henry Sydnor Harrison
  • And Sally gives chase, and overtakes the other two just by the fire-alarm, where Fenwick came to a standstill.

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • I guess she'll hear of the fire-alarm and hurry home: it'll be jest like her.

  • Dad had already gotten it, from fire-alarm center, but he hadn't heard that Devis was one of the deceased arsonists.

    Four-Day Planet Henry Beam Piper
  • And yet it is definite and applies itself with precision: If I am in a lecture-hall and hear the fire-alarm, the thought "Fire!"

British Dictionary definitions for fire-alarm

fire alarm

a device to give warning of fire, esp a bell, siren, or hooter
a shout to warn that a fire has broken out
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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