causing alarm or fear: an alarming case of pneumonia; an alarming lack of respect.

1670–80; alarm + -ing2

alarmingly, adverb
unalarming, adjective
unalarmingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To unalarming
Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. alarme, from It. all'arme "to arms!" (lit. "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. The verb is 1580s, from the noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature