• Wanted to Turn in a Fire Alarm 201
    Wanted to Turn in a Fire Alarm 201
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v alarm warn or arouse to a sense of danger or call to a state of preparedness "The empty house alarmed him","We alerted the new neighbors to the high rate of burglaries"
    • v alarm fill with apprehension or alarm; cause to be unpleasantly surprised "I was horrified at the thought of being late for my interview","The news of the executions horrified us"
    • n alarm a device that signals the occurrence of some undesirable event
    • n alarm a clock that wakes a sleeper at some preset time
    • n alarm an automatic signal (usually a sound) warning of danger
    • n alarm fear resulting from the awareness of danger
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Don't be alarmed Don't be alarmed
He heard a cry of alarm He heard a cry of alarm

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There is a certain type of Hawk Moth caterpillar from Brazil that inflates its thorax, which makes its head look like a head of a snake when it feels it is in danger or alarmed
    • Alarm A mechanical contrivance for awaking persons from sleep, or rousing their attention; an alarum.
    • Alarm A sudden attack; disturbance; broil. "These home alarms .""Thy palace fill with insults and alarms ."
    • Alarm A summons to arms, as on the approach of an enemy. "Arming to answer in a night alarm ."
    • Alarm Any sound or information intended to give notice of approaching danger; a warning sound to arouse attention; a warning of danger. "Sound an alarm in my holy mountain."
    • Alarm Sudden surprise with fear or terror excited by apprehension of danger; in the military use, commonly, sudden apprehension of being attacked by surprise. "Alarm and resentment spread throughout the camp."
    • Alarm To call to arms for defense; to give notice to (any one) of approaching danger; to rouse to vigilance and action; to put on the alert.
    • Alarm To keep in excitement; to disturb.
    • Alarm To surprise with apprehension of danger; to fill with anxiety in regard to threatening evil; to excite with sudden fear. "Alarmed by rumors of military preparation."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: When the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, received an alarming number of threatening letters, soon after her husband became President at the height of the Depression, the Secret Service insisted that she carry a pistol in her purse
    • n alarm A summons to arms, as on the approach of an enemy; hence, any sound, outcry, or information intended to give notice of approaching danger.
    • n alarm A hostile attack; a tumult; a broil; a disturbance.
    • n alarm A sudden fear or painful suspense excited by an apprehension of danger; apprehension; fright: as, there is nothing in his illness to cause alarm.
    • n alarm A warning sound; a signal for attention; an urgent call, summons, or notification. Specifically— In fencing, an appeal or a challenge made by a step or stamp on the ground with the advancing foot.
    • n alarm A self-acting contrivance of any kind used to call attention, rouse from sleep, warn of danger, etc. Such devices are made in a great variety of forms, as, for example, alarm-clocks, fog-bells, fog-whistles, and sounding or whistling buoys; bells to indicate changes in temperature, the opening or shutting of doors, gates, or drawers, the arrival of a given hour, or the condition of telephone- and telegraph-wires; signals to call attention to the escape of gas, steam, water, air, etc.
    • n alarm Alarm, Apprehension, Fright, Terror, Dismay, Consternation, Panic, affright, agitation, flutter, perturbation. These words all express degrees of fear in view of possible or certain, perhaps imminent, danger.
    • n alarm Apprehension is the lowest degree of fear; the mind takes hold of the idea of danger, and without alarm considers the best way of meeting it.
    • n alarm Alarm is the next stage; by derivation it is the alarum or summons to arms. The feelings are agitated in view of sudden or just-discovered danger to one's self or others. Generally its effect upon the mind is like that of apprehension; it energizes rather than overpowers the mental faculties.
    • n alarm Fright, terror, and dismay are higher and perhaps equal degrees of fear; their difference is in kind and in effect.
    • n alarm Fright affects especially the nerves and senses, being generally the effect of sudden fear.
    • n alarm Terror may be a later form of fright, or independent and as sudden; it overpowers the understanding and unmans one.
    • n alarm Dismay appals or breaks down the courage and hope, and therefore, as suggested by its derivation, the disposition to do anything to ward off the peril; what dismays one may be the failure or loss of his chosen means of defense.
    • n alarm Fright and terror are often the effect of undefined fears, as in superstition, and are especially used with reference to physical fear.
    • n alarm Consternation overwhelms the mental faculties by the suddenness or the utterly unexpected greatness of the danger.
    • n alarm Panic is a peculiar form of fear; it is sudden, demoralizing, a temporary madness of fear, altogether out of proportion to its cause; there may even be no cause discoverable. It is the fear of a mass of people, or, figuratively, of animals.
    • alarm To call to arms for defense; give notice of danger to; rouse to vigilance and exertions for safety: as, alarm the watch.
    • alarm To surprise with apprehension of danger; disturb with sudden fear; fill with anxiety by the prospect of evil.
    • alarm To give an alarm.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive, so much so that they will set off an alarm at a nuclear reactor.
    • n Alarm a-lärm′ notice of danger: sudden surprise with fear: a mechanical contrivance to arouse from sleep: a call to arms
    • v.t Alarm to call to arms: to give notice of danger: to fill with dread
    • adj Alarm alarming
    • ***


  • Lord Byron
    “So much alarmed that she is quite alarming, All Giggle, Blush, half Pertness, and half Pout.”
  • Hitopadesa
    “In time of danger it is proper to be alarmed until danger be near at hand; but when we perceive that danger is near, we should oppose it as if we were not afraid.”
  • Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    “It is not death that alarms me, but dying.”
  • F. B. Meyer
    F. B. Meyer
    “God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst... will be quiet in the middle of alarm.”
  • Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort
    “We leave unmolested those who set the fire to the house, and prosecute those who sound the alarm.”
  • James Madison
    “We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. alarme, It. all' arme, to arms ! fr. L. arma, pl., arms. See Arms, and cf. Alarum


In literature:

Though sick in bed, he had sprung up and had rushed to the wharf at the first tap of the alarm bell in New Orleans.
"A Confederate Girl's Diary" by Sarah Margan Dawson
In the Castle, Peel, or Pile of Fouldrey, on that night too, there was a mighty disturbance, not unaccompanied with vexation and alarm.
"Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2)" by John Roby
Occasionally some story of Indian treachery, some rumor of Indian hostility, or some omen of evil filled the garrison with vague alarm.
"Four American Indians" by Edson L. Whitney
For the last time the great bell of liberty sent forth its peal of alarm.
"Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Had the dream said I was to die pierced by a tusk, then you might well be alarmed; but it said a weapon.
"Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
On first hearing it, they were startled and somewhat alarmed.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
I observed that I had not yet alarmed them.
"The Boy Tar" by Mayne Reid
This was an alarming omen.
"Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Then his alarm became genuine.
"The Young Railroaders" by Francis Lovell Coombs
Jerry sprang up in alarm.
"The Young Oarsmen of Lakeview" by Ralph Bonehill

In poetry:

Break off! Dance no more!
Danger is at the door.
Music is in arms.
To signal war's alarms.
"War-Music" by Henry Van Dyke
Now the dragon hugged his
Victim in alarm,
And the coils grew tighter
Round her throat and arm.
"Fairy Tale" by Boris Pasternak
Vesuvius unto Ætna
Then waved its wild alarms,
Till news were brought to Naples
That Trinacria was in arms.
"The March Of Freedom" by Ernest Jones
What were they like? What mark
Can signify their charm?
They never saw the dark;
Rigid, they never knew alarm.
"To The Romantic Traditionists" by Allen Tate
The look of love alarms
Because 'tis fill'd with fire;
But the look of soft deceit
Shall Win the lover's hire.
"Several Questions Answered" by William Blake
ALL. Now this is most alarming!
When she was young and charming,
She practised baby-farming,
A many years ago.
"HMS Pinafore: Act II" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

First the hotel wake-up call, then my BlackBerry, then the hotel room alarm goes off in the pitch-black room.
Sharply declining Caribbean coral reefs alarm conservationists.
Coral reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate, four times faster than the rainforest.
"The increased use of calcium and magnesium chloride….has led to an alarming increase in the corrosion of ….vehicle components.".
An 18th-century Dutch Colonial that was placed on the New Jersey registry of historic places 25 years ago to save it from the encroachment of a road expansion project was gutted by a four-alarm fire early Friday.
A building superintendent opened the door to apartment No 1076 one balmy Tuesday and discovered an alarming scene: terrorist literature strewn about the table and computer and surveillance equipment set up in the next room.
A false alarm proves costly.
Fire alarm, 1:17 pm Tuesday, East Lucas Street.
Custom-built SigNET voice alarm system deployed by Manchester Aquatics Centre.
In combat, my Pokémon can muster the Alarmed Gaze, before which poorly trained moviemakers crumble.
Absentee ballot requests from military members and spouses are alarmingly low this election year, a voter advocacy group contends.
I've been reading more and more about parabens and their link to cancer and am alarmed to find it in so many products we use regularly (soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc).
Local Fire Departments want to remind you to replace the batteries on your smoke alarms.
Come Sunday when you set your clock's an hour forward for daylight savings time, the Toms River Fire Department wants you to take the time walking around the house and make sure your smoke detectors and CO alarms are working as well.
It's also a great time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.

In science:

At the same time, (b) the template set Λ should be chosen as much sparse as possible, so as to minimize the overall number of templates, and hence the detection threshold-level, for any prescribed false-alarm probability .
Optimum Placement of Post-1PN GW Chirp Templates Made Simple at any Match Level via Tanaka-Tagoshi Coordinates
The standard way of fixing this is to attach an “alarm clock” to each node, edge, and face, which wakes them up at random times according to a Poisson process (the edge-clock is much slower than the other two).
Determining the Genus of a Map by Local Observation of a Simple Random Process
Should we be alarmed? Unconcerned? Unconvinced? One way to place the result in context is to reinterpret it in the language of mixed state entanglement measures.
Entanglement in Random Subspaces
The large oscillations in velocity although alarming, are rendered harmless if the density is sufficiently low.
General Relativistic Galaxy Rotation Curves: Implications for Dark Matter Distribution
We believe we have fixed these counterterms in a physically well-motivated way and that negative condensates are simply a consequence of this choice of scheme and no cause for alarm.
Chiral Transition of N=4 Super Yang-Mills with Flavor on a 3-Sphere