• synonyms


  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.
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Origin of armed

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

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper