View synonyms for arm



[ ahrm ]


  1. the upper limb of the human body, especially the part extending from the shoulder to the wrist.
  2. the upper limb from the shoulder to the elbow.
  3. the forelimb of any vertebrate.
  4. some part of an organism like or likened to an arm.
  5. any armlike part or attachment, as the tone arm of a phonograph.
  6. a covering for the arm, especially a sleeve of a garment:

    the arm of a coat.

  7. an administrative or operational branch of an organization:

    A special arm of the government will investigate.

  8. Nautical. any of the curved or bent pieces of an anchor, terminating in the flukes.
  9. an armrest.
  10. an inlet or cove:

    an arm of the sea.

  11. a combat branch of the military service, as the infantry, cavalry, or field artillery.
  12. the long arm of the law.

    Synonyms: reach

  13. support or protection:

    He had always been there when I needed a strong arm to lean on or a word of counsel.

    May you take comfort knowing she is in God's loving arms.

  14. Typography. either of the extensions to the right of the vertical line of a K or upward from the vertical stem of a Y.



[ ahrm ]


  1. Usually arms. weapons, especially firearms.
  2. arms, Heraldry. the escutcheon, with its divisions, charges, and tinctures, and the other components forming an achievement that symbolizes and is reserved for a person, family, or corporate body; armorial bearings; coat of arms.

verb (used without object)

  1. to enter into a state of hostility or of readiness for war.

verb (used with object)

  1. to equip with weapons:

    to arm the troops.

  2. to activate (a fuze) so that it will explode the charge at the time desired.

    Antonyms: disarm, deactivate

  3. to cover protectively.
  4. to provide with whatever will add strength, force, or security; support; fortify:

    He was armed with statistics and facts.

  5. to equip or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use:

    to arm a security system; to arm oneself with persuasive arguments.

    Synonyms: outfit, ready, equip

  6. to prepare for action; make fit; ready.



abbreviation for


  1. adjustable-rate mortgage.



abbreviation for

  1. Armenian.
  2. Armorican.



/ ɑːm /


  1. to equip with weapons as a preparation for war
  2. to provide (a person or thing) with something that strengthens, protects, or increases efficiency

    he armed himself against the cold

    1. to activate (a fuse) so that it will explode at the required time
    2. to prepare (an explosive device) for use by introducing a fuse or detonator
  3. nautical to pack arming into (a sounding lead)


  1. usually plural a weapon, esp a firearm



abbreviation for

  1. Armenia(n)



/ ɑːm /


  1. (in man) either of the upper limbs from the shoulder to the wrist brachial
  2. the part of either of the upper limbs from the elbow to the wrist; forearm
    1. the corresponding limb of any other vertebrate
    2. an armlike appendage of some invertebrates
  3. an object that covers or supports the human arm, esp the sleeve of a garment or the side of a chair, sofa, etc
  4. anything considered to resemble an arm in appearance, position, or function, esp something that branches out from a central support or larger mass

    an arm of the sea

    the arm of a record player

  5. an administrative subdivision of an organization

    an arm of the government

  6. power; authority

    the arm of the law

  7. any of the specialist combatant sections of a military force, such as cavalry, infantry, etc
  8. nautical See yardarm
  9. sport ball games ability to throw or pitch

    he has a good arm

  10. an arm and a leg informal.
    a large amount of money
  11. arm in arm
    with arms linked
  12. at arm's length
    at a distance; away from familiarity with or subjection to another
  13. give one's right arm informal.
    to be prepared to make any sacrifice
  14. in the arms of Morpheus
  15. with open arms
    with great warmth and hospitality

    to welcome someone with open arms


  1. archaic.
    tr to walk arm in arm with



abbreviation for

  1. adjustable rate mortgage
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Derived Forms

  • ˈarmless, adjective
  • ˈarmˌlike, adjective
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Other Words From

  • armed adjective
  • armlike adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of arm1

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English earm; cognate with Gothic arms, Old Norse armr, Old Frisian erm, Dutch, Old Saxon, Old High German arm ( German Arm ) “arm,” Latin armus “shoulder” and arma (neuter plural) “tools, weapons”; akin to Serbo-Croatian rȁme, rȁmo “shoulder”; Sanskrit īrmá, Avestan arəma-, Old Prussian irmo “arm”; arm 2

Origin of arm2

First recorded in 1200–50 for the verb; 1300–50 for the noun; Middle English verb armen, from Anglo-French, Old French armer, from Latin armāre “to arm, equip,” verbal derivative of arma (neuter plural) “tools, weapons”; Middle English noun armes (plural), from Old French armes, from Latin arma (neuter plural reinterpreted as a feminine singular); akin to arm 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of arm1

C14: (n) back formation from arms, from Old French armes, from Latin arma; (vb) from Old French armer to equip with arms, from Latin armāre, from arma arms, equipment

Origin of arm2

Old English; related to German Arm, Old Norse armr arm, Latin armus shoulder, Greek harmos joint
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. an arm and a leg, a great deal of money:

    Our night on the town cost us an arm and a leg.

  2. arm in arm, with arms linked together or intertwined:

    They walked along arm in arm.

  3. at arm's length, not on familiar or friendly terms; at a distance:

    He's the kind of person you pity but want to keep at arm's length.

  4. bear arms,
    1. to carry weapons.
    2. to serve as a member of the military or of contending forces:

      His religious convictions kept him from bearing arms, but he served as an ambulance driver with the Red Cross.

  5. in the arms of Morpheus, asleep:

    After a strenuous day, he was soon in the arms of Morpheus.

  6. on the arm, Slang. free of charge; gratis:

    an investigation of policemen who ate lunch on the arm.

  7. put the arm on, Slang.
    1. to solicit or borrow money from:

      She put the arm on me for a generous contribution.

    2. to use force or violence on; use strong-arm tactics on:

      If they don't cooperate, put the arm on them.

  8. take up arms, to prepare for war; go to war:

    to take up arms against the enemy.

  9. twist someone's arm, to use force or coercion on someone.
  10. under arms, ready for battle; trained and equipped:

    The number of men under arms is no longer the decisive factor in warfare.

  11. up in arms, ready to take action; indignant; outraged:

    There is no need to get up in arms over such a trifle.

  12. with open arms, cordially; with warm hospitality:

    a country that receives immigrants with open arms.

More idioms and phrases containing arm

  • at arm's length
  • babe in arms
  • forewarned is forearmed
  • give one's eyeteeth (right arm)
  • long arm of the law
  • one-armed bandit
  • put the arm on
  • shot in the arm
  • take up arms
  • talk someone's arm off
  • twist someone's arm
  • up in arms
  • with one arm tied behind
  • with open arms
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Example Sentences

At St. Barnabas Hospital, Pellerano was listed in stable condition with wounds to his chest and arm.

The big slug happened to hit the suspect in the street, passing through his arm and then striking Police Officer Andrew Dossi.

Dossi initially was listed in critical condition with wounds to his arm and lower back.

She is wearing a crop top, and Andrew has his arm wrapped around her waist.

Women want a hot, young thing to parade around on their arm, too.

She was holding the back of her chair with one hand; her loose sleeve had slipped almost to the shoulder of her uplifted arm.

In Spain he was regarded as the right arm of the ultra-clericals and a possible supporter of Carlism.

Grandmamma sits in her quaint arm-chair— Never was lady more sweet and fair!

She looked up in his face, leaning on his arm beneath the encircling shadow of the umbrella which he had lifted.

But the strength of his arm, and the bravery of his heart could not have defended him long against their determined attack.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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