alarm

[uh-lahrm]

noun

verb (used with object)


Origin of alarm

1350–1400; Middle English alarme, alarom < Middle French < Old Italian allarme, noun from phrase all'arme to (the) arms. See arm2
Related formsa·larm·a·ble, adjectivea·larm·ed·ly [uh-lahr-mid-lee] /əˈlɑr mɪd li/, adverbpre·a·larm, verb (used with object), nounun·a·larmed, adjective

Synonyms for alarm

Synonym study

1. See fear. 8. See frighten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for alarm

Contemporary Examples of alarm

Historical Examples of alarm

  • "I'd rather keep it, if it's the same to you," said Paul, in alarm.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • She had begun to pull away in alarm when he seized her wrist.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • But Mr. Paine assured her that letters were likely to be irregular, and there was no ground for alarm.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • "You alarm me, dear young friend," continued the good minister.

  • He turned and ran to the camp, shouting an alarm at the top of his voice.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle


British Dictionary definitions for alarm

alarm

verb (tr)

to fill with apprehension, anxiety, or fear
to warn about danger; alert
to fit or activate a burglar alarm on a house, car, etc

noun

fear or terror aroused by awareness of danger; fright
apprehension or uneasinessthe idea of failing filled him with alarm
a noise, signal, etc, warning of danger
any device that transmits such a warninga burglar alarm
  1. the device in an alarm clock that triggers off the bell or buzzer
  2. short for alarm clock
archaic a call to arms
fencing a warning or challenge made by stamping the front foot
Derived Formsalarming, adjectivealarmingly, adverb

Word Origin for alarm

C14: from Old French alarme, from Old Italian all'arme to arms; see arm ²
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

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

Idioms and Phrases with alarm

alarm

see false alarm.

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