Meaning of ALARM in English


I. əˈlärm, -ȧm noun

also alar·um -a(a)rəm, -er-, -är-, -ȧr-

( -s )

Etymology: alarm from Middle English alarme, from Middle French, from Old Italian all' arme to arms, literally, to the weapon, from all' to the (from alla, from Latin ad illam to that, from ad to + illam, accusative feminine of ille that, probably alteration — influenced by is he, that — of Old Latin olle, ollus that, akin to Latin uls beyond) + arme weapon, from Latin arma weapons; alarum from Middle English alarom, alteration of alarme — more at at , iterate , all , arm

1. usually alarum , obsolete : a call to arms (as on the approach of an enemy)

2. often alarum : a disturbing noise : distraction , din — usually used in plural

all is quiet, no alarms — A.E.Housman


a. : a sound or signal giving notice of danger or calling attention to some event or condition

the whole village heard the alarm

only one fire company will respond to the first alarm

b. : a device that warns or signals by means of a noise (as a bell or siren) or visual effect (as a flashing light)

set the alarm to wake me at seven

a burglar set off the alarm at the bank

4. obsolete : a surprise attack : assault


a. : a fear or terror resulting from a sudden sense of danger

could not but observe with alarm the quickened motion of our horses — Thomas De Quincey

b. : apprehension of an unfavorable outcome, of failure, or of dangerous consequences

viewed with alarm the growing power of the central government

c. : an occasion of excitement or apprehension

the anxieties of common life began soon to succeed to the alarms of romance — Jane Austen

6. : a notice, warning, or announcement calling attention to a circumstance or event

police put out a two-state alarm for the missing car

the dog's barking gave the alarm and the intruders were routed

— see alarums and excursions

Synonyms: see fear

II. verb

also alarum “

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. often alarum , obsolete : to rouse to action : urge on

I needed not the shout that should alarm all Asia militant — Thomas De Quincey

2. often alarum , obsolete : to call to arms

3. sometimes alarum : to arouse to a sense of danger : put on the alert

before the battle of Trenton he crossed the river and alarmed the Hessians — E.M.Coulter

4. : to strike with fear : fill with anxiety as to threatening danger or harm

alarmed by the sudden rumbling in the earth

5. : to keep in excitement or commotion : disturb

heavy trucks alarmed one all night — Glenway Wescott

intransitive verb

1. : to sound an alarm

when one or both clocks alarm the trigger spring releases — W.F.Cloud

2. : to serve as an alarm — used of a sound

Synonyms: see frighten

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.