- (in man) either of the upper limbs from the shoulder to the wristRelated adjective(s): brachial
- the part of either of the upper limbs from the elbow to the wrist; forearm
- the corresponding limb of any other vertebrate
- an armlike appendage of some invertebrates
- an object that covers or supports the human arm, esp the sleeve of a garment or the side of a chair, sofa, etc
- anything considered to resemble an arm in appearance, position, or function, esp something that branches out from a central support or larger mass: an arm of the sea, the arm of a record player
- an administrative subdivision of an organization: an arm of the government
- power; authority: the arm of the law
- arm in arm ⇒ with arms linked
- at arm's length ⇒ at a distance; away from familiarity with or subjection to another
- in the arms of Morpheus ⇒ sleeping
- with open arms ⇒ with great warmth and hospitality: to welcome someone with open arms
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
- the upper limb of the human body.
- the upper limb from shoulder to elbow:The doctor gave me an injection in the arm.
- Sound Reproductionany part or attachment that resembles an arm, as a projecting support on a chair.
- a branch, section, or part of an organization: an arm of the government.
- Idiomsan arm and a leg, a great deal of money: That will cost an arm and a leg.
- Idiomsarm in arm, with arms linked together or intertwined: walking along arm in arm.
- Idiomsat arm's length, at a distance that discourages intimacy:kept her associates at arm's length.
- (long) arm of the law, the power or authority of the law or law enforcement.
- Idiomstwist someone's arm, to bring strong pressure to bear on someone.
- Idiomswith open arms, cordially;
hospitably:welcomed her with open arms.
arm2 /ɑrm/USA pronunciation n.
- MilitaryUsually, arms. [plural] weapons, esp. guns, rifles, or firearms.
- Heraldry arms, [plural] the heraldic designs or symbols on a shield.
- to (cause to) be equipped with weapons: [no object]The country is arming for war.[~ + oneself]The rebels armed themselves.[~ + object]They armed their troops.
- to activate, equip, or prepare (something) for specific purpose or effective use:[~ + object]to arm the security system.
- Idioms, Militarybear arms:
- to carry weapons:claimed the right to bear arms.
- to serve as a member of the armed forces:He had to bear arms as a youth of only sixteen.
- Idioms, Militarytake up arms, to prepare for or go to war.
- Idioms, Militaryunder arms, (of troops) trained and equipped for battle.
- Idiomsup in arms, indignant:is up in arms about the effort to discredit him.
- -arm- comes from Latin, where it has the meaning "weapon.'' This meaning is found in such words as: armada, armament, arms, disarmament.
- Anatomythe upper limb of the human body, esp. the part extending from the shoulder to the wrist.
- Anatomythe upper limb from the shoulder to the elbow.
- Biologythe forelimb of any vertebrate.
- Zoologysome part of an organism like or likened to an arm.
- Sound Reproductionany armlike part or attachment, as the tone arm of a phonograph.
- a covering for the arm, esp. a sleeve of a garment:the arm of a coat.
- an administrative or operational branch of an organization:A special arm of the government will investigate.
- Nautical, Naval Termsany of the curved or bent pieces of an anchor, terminating in the flukes. See diag. under anchor.
- Furniturean armrest.
- an inlet or cove:an arm of the sea.
- Militarya combat branch of the military service, as the infantry, cavalry, or field artillery.
authority:the long arm of the law.
- Printing[Typography.]either of the extensions to the right of the vertical line of a K or upward from the vertical stem of a Y.
- an arm and a leg, a great deal of money:Our night on the town cost us an arm and a leg.
- arm in arm, with arms linked together or intertwined:They walked along arm in arm.
- at arm's length, not on familiar or friendly terms;
at a distance:He's the kind of person you pity but want to keep at arm's length.
- in the arms of Morpheus, asleep:After a strenuous day, he was soon in the arms of Morpheus.
- on the arm, [Slang.]free of charge;
gratis:an investigation of policemen who ate lunch on the arm.
- put the arm on, [Slang.]
- to solicit or borrow money from:She put the arm on me for a generous contribution.
- to use force or violence on;
use strong-arm tactics on:If they don't cooperate, put the arm on them.
- twist someone's arm, to use force or coercion on someone.
- with open arms, cordially;
with warm hospitality:a country that receives immigrants with open arms.
- bef. 900; Middle English; Old English earm; cognate with Gothic arms, Old Norse armr, Old Frisian erm, Dutch, Old Saxon, Old High German arm (German Arm) arm; Latin armus, Serbo-Croatian rȁme, rȁmo shoulder; akin to Sanskrit īrmá, Avestan arəma-, Old Prussian irmo arm; not akin to Latin arma arm2
arm2 (ärm),USA pronunciation n.
- MilitaryUsually, arms. weapons, esp. firearms.
- Heraldryarms, the escutcheon, with its divisions, charges, and tinctures, and the other components forming an achievement that symbolizes and is reserved for a person, family, or corporate body;
coat of arms.
- Militarybear arms:
- to carry weapons.
- to serve as a member of the military or of contending forces:His religious convictions kept him from bearing arms, but he served as an ambulance driver with the Red Cross.
- Militarytake up arms, to prepare for war;
go to war:to take up arms against the enemy.
- Militaryunder arms, ready for battle;
trained and equipped:The number of men under arms is no longer the decisive factor in warfare.
- up in arms, ready to take action;
outraged:There is no need to get up in arms over such a trifle.
- to enter into a state of hostility or of readiness for war.
- to equip with weapons:to arm the troops.
- to activate (a fuze) so that it will explode the charge at the time desired.
- to cover protectively.
- to provide with whatever will add strength, force, or security;
fortify:He was armed with statistics and facts.
- to equip or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use:to arm a security system; to arm oneself with persuasive arguments.
- to prepare for action;
- Latin armāre to arm, verb, verbal derivative of arma (plural) tools, weapons (not akin to arm1); (noun, nominal) Middle English armes (plural)
Latin arma, as above
- Anglo-French, Old French armer
- 1200–50 for verb, verbal; 1300–50 for noun, nominal; (verb, verbal) Middle English armen
- 12.See corresponding entry in Unabridged outfit.
- 9.See corresponding entry in Unabridged deactivate, disarm.
- Language VarietiesArmenian.
- Neo-Latin Architecturae Magister
- to equip with weapons as a preparation for war
- to provide (a person or thing) with something that strengthens, protects, or increases efficiency
- to activate (a fuse) so that it will explode at the required time
- to prepare (an explosive device) for use by introducing a fuse or detonator
- (usually plural) a weapon, esp a firearm
See also armsEtymology: 14th Century: (n) back formation from arms, from Old French armes, from Latin arma; (vb) from Old French armer to equip with arms, from Latin armāre, from arma arms, equipment
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