- a false report of a fire in progress to a fire department.
- something that excites unfounded alarm or expectation: Rumors of an impending transit strike proved to be a false alarm.
Origin of false alarm
Examples from the Web for false alarm
- a needless alarm given in error or with intent to deceive
- an occasion on which danger is perceived but fails to materialize
Idioms and Phrases with false alarm
A warning signal that is groundless, made either by mistake or as a deliberate deception. For example, The rumor that we were all going to get fired was just a false alarm, or Setting off a false alarm is a criminal offense. This expression, first recorded in 1579, today is often used for a report of a nonexistent fire.