definitions
  • synonyms

false alarm

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SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR false alarm ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

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.

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RELATED WORDS

dud, non-starter

Nearby words

falls, fallujah, falmouth, false, false acacia, false alarm, false aloe, false anemia, false aneurysm, false ankylosis, false aralia

Origin of false alarm

First recorded in 1570–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for false alarm

  • But I want to tell you again Overstreet is no false-alarm bad-man.

    Oh, You Tex!|William Macleod Raine
  • "Well, if you ain't going to, we might as well go in and have a look at that false-alarm patient of ours," he continued.

    A Texas Ranger|William MacLeod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for false alarm

false alarm


noun

a needless alarm given in error or with intent to deceive
an occasion on which danger is perceived but fails to materialize
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

Idioms and Phrases with false alarm

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.

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