- 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
- (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
Word Origin for arm
- 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
Word Origin for arm
- adjustable rate mortgage
"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.
with open arms
Enthusiastically, warmly, as in They received their new daughter-in-law with open arms. This term alludes to an embrace. [Mid-1600s]
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