- the upper limb of the human body, especially the part extending from the shoulder to the wrist.
- the upper limb from the shoulder to the elbow.
- the forelimb of any vertebrate.
- some part of an organism like or likened to an arm.
- any armlike part or attachment, as the tone arm of a phonograph.
- a covering for the arm, especially a sleeve of a garment: the arm of a coat.
- an administrative or operational branch of an organization: A special arm of the government will investigate.
- Nautical. any of the curved or bent pieces of an anchor, terminating in the flukes.
- an armrest.
- an inlet or cove: an arm of the sea.
- a combat branch of the military service, as the infantry, cavalry, or field artillery.
- power; might; strength; authority: the long arm of the law.
- Typography. either of the extensions to the right of the vertical line of a K or upward from the vertical stem of a Y.
- an arm and a leg, a great deal of money: Our night on the town cost us an arm and a leg.
- arm in arm, with arms linked together or intertwined: They walked along arm in arm.
- 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.
- in the arms of Morpheus, asleep: After a strenuous day, he was soon in the arms of Morpheus.
- on the arm, Slang. free of charge; gratis: an investigation of policemen who ate lunch on the arm.
- put the arm on, Slang.
- to solicit or borrow money from: She put the arm on me for a generous contribution.
- to use force or violence on; use strong-arm tactics on: If they don't cooperate, put the arm on them.
- twist someone's arm, to use force or coercion on someone.
- with open arms, cordially; with warm hospitality: a country that receives immigrants with open arms.
Origin of arm1
- to enter into a state of hostility or of readiness for war.
- to equip with weapons: to arm the troops.
- to activate (a fuze) so that it will explode the charge at the time desired.
- to cover protectively.
- to provide with whatever will add strength, force, or security; support; fortify: He was armed with statistics and facts.
- to equip or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use: to arm a security system; to arm oneself with persuasive arguments.
- to prepare for action; make fit; ready.
- bear arms,
- to carry weapons.
- 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.
- take up arms, to prepare for war; go to war: to take up arms against the enemy.
- under arms, ready for battle; trained and equipped: The number of men under arms is no longer the decisive factor in warfare.
- up in arms, ready to take action; indignant; outraged: There is no need to get up in arms over such a trifle.
Origin of arm2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for arms
There are parks filled with men pushing strollers and coffee shops where fathers meet their friends, babes in arms.How Good Dads Can Change the World
Gary Barker, PhD, Michael Kaufman
January 6, 2015
At the beginning of the video and before the call to kill police, you can hear what sounds like, “arms up, shoot back!”
Some of the slogans used that night—including “arms up, shoot back!”
With help, he got to his feet, and when she hugged him he lifted his arms slightly as if to return the hug.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Democrats are up in arms about several policy riders attached to the cromnibus.Bachmann and Pelosi vs. Boehner and Obama Over Spending Bill
December 11, 2014
Mrs. Bines, stooping, took the limp and wide-eyed Paul up in her arms.
The face, neck, and arms of the modest maiden were flushed with indignant crimson.
She put her arms about her neck, and affectionately inquired the cause of her distress.
It always feels like you—like your arms, Mtterchen—and I am tired.
My arms have starved for you so—do you think they're going to loosen now?
- weapons collectivelySee also small arms
- military exploitsprowess in arms
- the official heraldic symbols of a family, state, etc, including a shield with distinctive devices, and often supports, a crest, or other insignia
- bear arms
- to carry weapons
- to serve in the armed forces
- to have a coat of arms
- in arms or under arms armed and prepared for war
- lay down one's arms to stop fighting; surrender
- present arms military
- a position of salute in which the rifle is brought up to a position vertically in line with the body, muzzle uppermost and trigger guard to the fore
- the command for this drill
- take arms or take up arms to prepare to fight
- to arms! arm yourselves!
- up in arms indignant; prepared to protest strongly
- (in man) either of the upper limbs from the shoulder to the wristRelated adjective: brachial
- the part of either of the upper limbs from the elbow to the wrist; forearm
- the corresponding limb of any other vertebrate
- an armlike appendage of some invertebrates
- an object that covers or supports the human arm, esp the sleeve of a garment or the side of a chair, sofa, etc
- anything considered to resemble an arm in appearance, position, or function, esp something that branches out from a central support or larger massan arm of the sea; the arm of a record player
- an administrative subdivision of an organizationan arm of the government
- power; authoritythe arm of the law
- any of the specialist combatant sections of a military force, such as cavalry, infantry, etc
- nautical See yardarm
- sport, esp ball games ability to throw or pitchhe has a good arm
- an arm and a leg informal a large amount of money
- arm in arm with arms linked
- at arm's length at a distance; away from familiarity with or subjection to another
- give one's right arm informal to be prepared to make any sacrifice
- in the arms of Morpheus sleeping
- with open arms with great warmth and hospitalityto welcome someone with open arms
- (tr) archaic to walk arm in arm with
- to equip with weapons as a preparation for war
- to provide (a person or thing) with something that strengthens, protects, or increases efficiencyhe armed himself against the cold
- to activate (a fuse) so that it will explode at the required time
- to prepare (an explosive device) for use by introducing a fuse or detonator
- nautical to pack arming into (a sounding lead)
- (usually plural) a weapon, esp a firearm
- adjustable rate mortgage
Word Origin and History for arms
"upper limb," Old English earm "arm," from Proto-Germanic *armaz (cf. Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Middle Dutch, German arm, Old Norse armr, Old Frisian erm), from PIE root *ar- "fit, join" (cf. Sanskrit irmah "arm," Armenian armukn "elbow," Old Prussian irmo "arm," Greek arthron "a joint," Latin armus "shoulder"). Arm of the sea was in Old English. Arm-twister "powerful persuader" is from 1938. Arm-wrestling is from 1899.
They wenten arme in arme yfere Into the gardyn [Chaucer]
"weapon," c.1300, armes (plural) "weapons of a warrior," from Old French armes (plural), "arms, war, warfare," mid-13c., from Latin arma "weapons" (including armor), literally "tools, implements (of war)," from PIE root *ar- "fit, join" (see arm (n.1)). The notion seems to be "that which is fitted together." Meaning "heraldic insignia" (in coat of arms, etc.) is early 14c.; originally they were borne on shields of fully armed knights or barons.
- An upper limb of the human body, connecting the hand and wrist to the shoulder.
Idioms and Phrases with arms
In addition to the idioms beginning with arm
- arm and a leg
- armed to the teeth
- arm in 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