Definition of alarm in English:

alarm

Syllabification: a·larm
Pronunciation: /əˈlärm
 
/

noun

1An anxious awareness of danger: the boat tilted and the boatmen cried out in alarm he views the right-wing upsurge in Europe with alarm
More example sentences
  • Ken looked above him in alarm and watched in shock as dirt, stones, support beams, all toppled on top of Ken, completely burying him alive.
  • She turned around in alarm, fearing he had taken off and was really going to follow through with his joke of leaving her by herself.
  • Occasionally we can see young men reacting to the declaration of pregnancy, always with alarm and fear.
Synonyms
1.1 [in singular] A warning of danger: I hammered on several doors to raise the alarm Oliver smelled smoke and gave the alarm
More example sentences
  • She managed to free herself and raise the alarm after a passing motorcyclist gave her a lift to the police station.
  • She eventually managed to stop a passing motorist in the early hours yesterday and raise the alarm.
  • He tried to use his phone to raise the alarm but was not able to get a signal so he hammered on the door of the house.
Synonyms
warning, alert, distress signal; siren, bell, horn, whistle, air horn
archaic tocsin
1.2A warning sound or device: they disabled the alarm and used a glass cutter to get in
More example sentences
  • If the alarm is set off the light on the main panel will let you know which zone the intruder is in.
  • Thieves gained entry by disconnecting the security alarm and forcing their entry through the rear door.
  • For peace of mind, the properties come with wiring for a security alarm, and two inter-connected smoke detectors on the landing.
1.3An alarm clock.
More example sentences
  • It's a classic Swiss Army knife with lots of different blades and stuff, but it's updated with a digital clock, alarm, and stopwatch.
  • It even comes with an alarm, a clock, and the ability to store up to 10 of your favorite stations in each of the three frequencies.
  • For example, the Datalink comes with a chronograph, countdown timer, interval timer, multiple alarms and even a notepad.

verb

Back to top  
1 [with object] Cause (someone) to feel frightened, disturbed, or in danger: the government was alarmed by an outbreak of unrest
More example sentences
  • As well as being worried about his command of English, the implicit danger of stereotyping alarms him.
  • As a generalist, this alarms me somewhat.
  • The lack of oversight alarms some members of Congress.
Synonyms
frighten, scare, panic, unnerve, distress, agitate, upset, disconcert, shock, dismay, disturb
informal rattle, spook, scare the living daylights out of
frightening, unnerving, shocking; distressing, upsetting, disconcerting, perturbing, worrisome, worrying, dismaying, disquieting, startling, disturbing
informal scary
2 (be alarmed) Be fitted or protected with an alarm: this door is locked and alarmed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
More example sentences
  • The second point is very important because even if your car is locked and alarmed, it is still at risk if there are valuables on view.
  • The room where kit is stored is locked and alarmed at night, but during the day people have free access.
  • One is the home, now triple-bolted, alarmed and window-locked against intruders.

Origin

late Middle English (as an exclamation meaning 'to arms!'): from Old French alarme, from Italian allarme, from all' arme! 'to arms!'.

Definition of alarm in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day neoteny
Pronunciation: niːˈɒt(ə)ni
noun
retention of juvenile features in the adult animal