alarm

Definitions

General English

Electronics

Human Resources

  • noun a device which gives a loud warning

Military

  • noun warning of threat or danger
  • noun a signal to be given when there is an alarm
  • noun an electronic or mechanical device designed to detect a specific danger
  • noun a state of fear and disorder caused by imminent danger
  • noun
    (written as ALARM)
    a British-designed air-to-ground anti-radar missile (ARM).
  • verb to give someone a reason to be frightened
  • acronym forair-launched anti-radiation missile
    (written as ALARM)

Travel

  • verb to frighten somebody

Origin & History of “alarm”

Alarm was originally a call to arms. It comes from the Old Italian phrase all’ arme ‘to the weapons!’ this was lexicalized as the noun allarme, which was borrowed into Old French as alarme, and thence into English. The archaic variant alarum seems to have arisen from an emphatic rolling of the r accompanying a prolongation of the final syllable when the word was used as an exclamation.
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