I. arm 1 S1 W1 /ɑːm $ ɑːrm/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Sense 1, 3-4, 6-13: Language: Old English ; Origin: earm ]
[ Sense 2,5,14: Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: armes (plural), from Latin arma ]
1 . BODY one of the two long parts of your body between your shoulders and your hands:
Dave has a broken arm.
He had a tattoo on his left arm.
Tim’s mother put her arms around him.
Pat was carrying a box under his arm.
He had a pile of books in his arms.
They walked along the beach arm in arm (=with their arms bent around each other’s) .
take somebody by the arm (=lead someone somewhere by holding their arm)
She took him by the arm and pushed him out of the door.
take somebody in your arms (=gently hold someone with your arms)
Gerry took Fiona in his arms and kissed her.
cross/fold your arms (=bend your arms so that they are resting on top of each other against your body)
He folded his arms and leaned back in his chair.
The old lady rushed to greet him, arms outstretched.
2 . WEAPONS arms [plural] weapons used for fighting wars:
Sales of arms to the Middle East have dramatically increased.
the arms trade
an arms dealer
The government is cutting arms expenditure.
The United Nations will lift its arms embargo against the country.
take up arms (against somebody) (=get weapons and fight)
Boys as young as 13 are taking up arms to defend the city.
He appealed for the rebels to lay down their arms (=stop fighting) .
under arms (=with weapons and ready to fight)
All available forces are under arms.
⇨ small arms at ↑ small 1 (15)
FURNITURE the part of a chair, ↑ sofa etc that you rest your arms on
4 . CLOTHING the part of a piece of clothing that covers your arm SYN sleeve
5 . be up in arms to be very angry and ready to argue or fight:
Residents are up in arms about plans for a new road along the beach.
6 . with open arms if you do something with open arms, you show that you are happy to see someone or eager to accept an idea, plan etc:
We welcomed Henry’s offer with open arms.
My new in-laws accepted me with open arms.
7 . somebody would give their right arm to do something used to say that someone would be willing to do anything to get or do something because they want it very much:
I’d give my right arm to be 21 again.
8 . hold something at arm’s length to hold something away from your body
9 . keep/hold somebody at arm’s length to avoid developing a relationship with someone:
Petra keeps all men at arm’s length to avoid getting hurt.
10 . as long as your arm informal a list or written document that is as long as your arm is very long:
I’ve got a list of things to do as long as your arm.
11 . PART OF GROUP a part of a large group that is responsible for a particular type of activity:
the political arm of a terrorist organization
Epson America is the US marketing arm of a Japanese company.
12 . OBJECT/MACHINE a long part of an object or piece of equipment:
the arm of a record player
There is a 15-foot arm supporting the antenna.
13 . on sb’s arm old-fashioned if a man has a woman on his arm, she is walking beside him holding his arm
14 . DESIGN arms [plural] a set of pictures or patterns, usually painted on a ↑ shield , that is used as the special sign of a family, town, university etc SYN coat of arms
⇨ arms akimbo at ↑ akimbo (1), ⇨ babe in arms at ↑ babe (1), ⇨ brothers in arms at ↑ brother 1 (6), ⇨ cost an arm and a leg at ↑ cost 2 (1), ⇨ fold somebody/something in your arms at ↑ fold 1 (7), ⇨ twist sb’s arm at ↑ twist 1 (9)
• • •
▪ sb’s left/right arm
She broke her left arm in a riding accident.
He was taken to hospital with a broken arm.
a muscular man with strong arms
▪ bare (=not covered by clothes)
She wore no stockings and her arms were bare.
▪ wave your arms (=to attract attention)
The man was waving his arms and shouting something.
▪ raise your arm
Stand with your feet apart and your arms raised above your head.
▪ fold/cross your arms (=bend both arms in front of your body)
He folded his arms across his chest and waited.
▪ stretch/hold out your arms
I dreamt I saw my mother again with her arms stretched out towards me.
▪ grab sb’s arm (=take hold of it with a sudden violent movement)
‘Wait’, he cried, grabbing her arm.
▪ put/wrap your arms around somebody
I put my arms around Bobby and gave him a hug.
▪ take/hold somebody in your arms (=gently put your arms around someone you love)
He took her in his arms and kissed her.
▪ take somebody by the arm (=lead someone somewhere holding their arm)
‘It’s this way’ he said, taking me by the arm.
▪ arm in arm (=with your arm linked to someone else’s arm)
There were several young couples, walking arm in arm.
▪ with arms akimbo (=with your hands on your hips so that your elbows point away from your body)
Anna stood with arms akimbo, ready to challenge me.
▪ with outstretched arms
Manuel came forward with outstretched arms to welcome Magda.
II. arm 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: armer , from Latin armare , from arma ; ⇨ ↑ arm 1 ]
1 . to provide weapons for yourself, an army, a country etc in order to prepare for a fight or a war
arm somebody with something
The local farmers have armed themselves with rifles and pistols.
The rebels armed a group of 2,000 men to attack the city.
⇨ ↑ armed , ↑ unarmed
2 . to provide all the information, skills, or equipment you need to do something SYN equip
arm somebody with something
Arm yourself with all the facts you need to argue your case.
The guidebook arms the reader with a mass of useful information.