1. bearing firearms; having weapons: a heavily armed patrol.
  2. maintained by arms: armed peace.
  3. involving the use of weapons: armed conflict.
  4. equipped: The students came armed with their pocket calculators.
  5. (especially of an animal) covered protectively, as by a shell.
  6. fortified; made secure: Armed by an inveterate optimism, he withstood despair.
  7. (of an artillery shell, bomb, missile, etc.) having the fuze made operative.

Origin of armed

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at arm2, -ed2
Related formshalf-armed, adjectivewell-armed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for well-armed

Contemporary Examples of well-armed

Historical Examples of well-armed

British Dictionary definitions for well-armed


adjective (well armed when postpositive)
  1. having many or good weaponswell-armed forces
  2. suitably prepared in advancewell armed for an argument


  1. equipped with or supported by arms, armour, etc
  2. prepared for conflict or any difficulty
  3. (of an explosive device) prepared for use; having a fuse or detonator installed
  4. (of plants) having the protection of thorns, spines, etc


    1. having an arm or arms
    2. (in combination)long-armed; one-armed
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 well-armed



"equipped for battle," early 13c., past participle adjective from arm (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper