false alarm


General English


  • An alarm signal which is generated without an alarm condition existing. Possible causes include environmental factors, malfunctions, or vandalism. A false alarm may also be intentional, as is the case during testing.
  • synonymfalse echo
  • In radars, an erroneous detection of a scanned object. Also called false alarm (2).

Information & Library Science

  • noun a warning of something bad that does not actually happen