2 a device that signals the occurrence of some undesirable event [syn: warning device, alarm system]
4 a clock that wakes sleeper at preset time [syn: alarm clock]
1 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" [syn: dismay, appal, appall, horrify]
2 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" [syn: alert]
PronunciationIPA: WEAE /ˈʌ.lɑɹm/
- Rhymes: -ɑː(r)m
- A summons to arms, as on the approach of an enemy.
- Arming to answer in a night alarm. --Shak.
- 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. --Joel ii. 1.
- Thy palace fill with insults and alarms. --Pope.
- Sound an alarm in my holy mountain. --Joel ii. 1.
- 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. --Macaulay.
- A mechanical contrivance for awaking persons from sleep, or rousing their attention; an alarum.
a summons to arms, as on the approach of an enemy
any sound or information intended to give notice of approaching danger
sudden surprise with fear or terror excited by apprehension of danger
a mechanical contrivance for awaking persons from sleep
- 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.
- To keep in excitement; to disturb.
- To surprise with apprehension of danger; to fill with anxiety in regard to threatening evil; to excite with sudden fear.
To call to arms; to give notice of approaching danger
To keep in excitement; to disturb
An alarm (French: À l'arme - "To the arms") gives an audible or visual warning of a problem or condition.
- burglar alarms, designed to warn of burglaries; this is often a silent alarm: the police or guards are warned without indication to the burglar, which increases the chances of catching him or her.
- alarm clocks can produce an alarm at a given time
- Distributed control manufacturing systems or DCSs, found in nuclear power plants, refineries and chemical facilities also generate alarms to direct the operator's attention to an important event that he or she needs to address.
- Alarms in an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Monitoring system, which informs the bad working state of (a particular part of the) system under monitoring.
- safety alarms, which go off if a dangerous condition occurs. Common public safety alarms include:
Alarms have the capability of causing a fight-or-flight response in humans; a person under this mindset will panic and either flee the perceived danger or attempt to eliminate it, often ignoring rational thought in either case. We can characterise a person in such a state as "alarmed".
With any kind of alarm, the need exists to balance between on the one hand the danger of false alarms (called "false positives") — the signal going off in the absence of a problem — and on the other hand failing to signal an actual problem (called a "false negative"). False alarms can waste resources expensively and can even be dangerous. For example, false alarms of a fire can waste firefighter manpower, making them unavailable for a real fire, and risk injury to firefighters and others as the fire engines race to the alleged fire's location. In addition, false alarms may acclimatise people to ignore alarm signals, and thus possibly to ignore an actual emergency: Aesop's fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf exemplifies this problem.
=Etymology= "Alarm" came from Old French 'à l'arme' = "to the weapon", telling armed men to pick up their weapons and get ready for action (because an enemy may have suddenly appeared).
alarm in German: Alarm
alarm in French: Alarme
alarm in Hebrew: אזעקה
alarm in Croatian: Alarmi
alarm in Dutch: Alarm (apparaat)
alarm in Portuguese: Alarme
alarm in Swedish: Larm
alarm in Turkish: Alarm
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