Alarm A*larm" ([.a]*l[aum]rm"), n. [F. alarme, It. all' arme to arms ! fr. L. arma, pl., arms. See {Arms}, and cf. {Alarum}.] 1. A summons to arms, as on the approach of an enemy. [1913 Webster]

Arming to answer in a night alarm. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Any sound or information intended to give notice of approaching danger; a warning sound to arouse attention; a warning of danger. [1913 Webster]

Sound an alarm in my holy mountain. --Joel ii. 1. [1913 Webster]

3. A sudden attack; disturbance; broil. [R.] ``These home alarms.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Thy palace fill with insults and alarms. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

4. Sudden surprise with fear or terror excited by apprehension of danger; in the military use, commonly, sudden apprehension of being attacked by surprise. [1913 Webster]

Alarm and resentment spread throughout the camp. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

5. A mechanical contrivance for awaking persons from sleep, or rousing their attention; an alarum. [1913 Webster]

{Alarm bell}, a bell that gives notice on danger.

{Alarm clock} or {watch}, a clock or watch which can be so set as to ring or strike loudly at a prearranged hour, to wake from sleep, or excite attention.

{Alarm gauge}, a contrivance attached to a steam boiler for showing when the pressure of steam is too high, or the water in the boiler too low.

{Alarm post}, a place to which troops are to repair in case of an alarm. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Fright; affright; terror; trepidation; apprehension; consternation; dismay; agitation; disquiet; disquietude.

Usage: {Alarm}, {Fright}, {Terror}, {Consternation}. These words express different degrees of fear at the approach of danger. Fright is fear suddenly excited, producing confusion of the senses, and hence it is unreflecting. Alarm is the hurried agitation of feeling which springs from a sense of immediate and extreme exposure. Terror is agitating and excessive fear, which usually benumbs the faculties. Consternation is overwhelming fear, and carries a notion of powerlessness and amazement. Alarm agitates the feelings; terror disorders the understanding and affects the will; fright seizes on and confuses the sense; consternation takes possession of the soul, and subdues its faculties. See {Apprehension}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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