Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
click for a larger image

arm 1

1. An upper limb of the human body, connecting the hand and wrist to the shoulder.
2. A part similar to a human arm, such as the forelimb of an animal or a long part projecting from a central support in a machine.
3. Something, such as a sleeve on a garment or a support on a chair, that is designed to cover or support the human arm.
4. A relatively narrow extension jutting out from a large mass: an arm of the sea. See Synonyms at branch.
5. An administrative or functional branch, as of an organization.
6. Power or authority: the long arm of the law.
7. Sports The skill of throwing or pitching a ball well.
an arm and a leg Slang
An excessively high price: a cruise that cost an arm and a leg.
arm in arm
With arms linked together: They walked across the beach arm in arm.
at arm's length
At such a distance that physical or social contact is discouraged: kept the newcomer at arm's length at first.
with open arms
With great cordiality and hospitality.

[Middle English, from Old English earm; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

armed (ärmd) adj.

arm 2

1. A weapon, especially a firearm: troops bearing arms; ICBMs, bombs, and other nuclear arms.
2. A branch of a military force: infantry, armor, and other combat arms.
3. arms
a. Warfare: a call to arms against the invaders.
b. Military service: several million volunteers under arms; the profession of arms.
4. arms
a. Heraldry Bearings.
b. Insignia, as of a state, an official, a family, or an organization.
v. armed, arm·ing, arms
1. To supply or equip oneself with weaponry.
2. To prepare oneself for warfare or conflict.
1. To equip with weapons: armed themselves with loaded pistols; arm a missile with a warhead; arm a nation for war.
2. To equip with what is needed for effective action: tax advisers who were armed with the latest forms.
3. To provide with something that strengthens or protects: a space reentry vehicle that was armed with a ceramic shield.
4. To prepare (a weapon or electronic system, such as an alarm) for use or operation, as by releasing a safety device.
up in arms
Extremely upset; indignant.

[From Middle English armes, weapons, from Old French, pl. of arme, weapon, from Latin arma, weapons; see ar- in Indo-European roots. Verb, Middle English armen, from Old French armer, from Latin armāre, from arma.]

armed (ärmd) adj.
arm′er n.


adjustable-rate mortgage
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


pl n
1. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) weapons collectively. See also small arms
2. (Military) military exploits: prowess in arms.
3. (Heraldry) the official heraldic symbols of a family, state, etc, including a shield with distinctive devices, and often supports, a crest, or other insignia
4. (Military) to carry weapons
5. (Military) to serve in the armed forces
6. (Heraldry) to have a coat of arms
7. (Military) in arms under arms armed and prepared for war
8. (Military) lay down one's arms to stop fighting; surrender
9. (Military) present arms military
a. a position of salute in which the rifle is brought up to a position vertically in line with the body, muzzle uppermost and trigger guard to the fore
b. the command for this drill
10. (Military) take arms take up arms to prepare to fight
11. to arms! arm yourselves!
12. up in arms indignant; prepared to protest strongly
[C13: from Old French armes, from Latin arma; see arm2]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.arms - weapons considered collectivelyarms - weapons considered collectively  
ammo, ammunition - projectiles to be fired from a gun
armament - weaponry used by military or naval force
bomb - an explosive device fused to explode under specific conditions
defence system, defense system - the weaponry available for the defense of a region
gunnery - guns collectively
hardware - major items of military weaponry (as tanks or missile)
instrumentation, instrumentality - an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end
naval weaponry - weaponry for warships
weapon, weapon system, arm - any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting; "he was licensed to carry a weapon"
2.arms - the official symbols of a family, state, etc.arms - the official symbols of a family, state, etc.
crest - (heraldry) in medieval times, an emblem used to decorate a helmet
heraldry - emblem indicating the right of a person to bear arms
quartering - a coat of arms that occupies one quarter of an escutcheon; combining four coats of arms on one shield usually represented intermarriages
heraldry - the study and classification of armorial bearings and the tracing of genealogies
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


(= weapons) → armes fpl
to bear arms → porter des armes
our right to bear arms → notre droit de porter des armes
to lay down one's arms (old-fashioned)déposer les armes
to take up arms → prendre les armes
to be under arms → être sous les armes
to be up in arms → s'insurger
see also arm
(HERALDRY)armes fpl
modif [dealer] → d'armes; [export, shipment, sales] → d'armes; [embargo, reduction] → d'armes arms control, arms factory, arms inspection, arms inspector, arms limitation, arms race, arms tradearms control ncontrôle m des armementsarms embargo nembargo m sur les armesarms factory nusine f d'armementarms inspection ninspection f de l'armementarms inspector ninspecteur/trice m de l'armementarms limitation nlimitation f des armementsarms race ncourse f aux armementsarms trade ncommerce m des armesarm-wrestle [ˈɑːrmresl] vi
to arm-wrestle with sb → faire un bras de fer avec qn
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= weapons)Waffen pl; to arms!zu den Waffen!; to carry armsWaffen tragen; to be under armsunter Waffen stehen; to take up arms (against somebody/something)(gegen jdn/etw) zu den Waffen greifen; (fig)(gegen jdn/etw) zum Angriff übergehen; to be up in arms (about something) (fig inf) (→ über etw acc) → empört sein; arms limitation talksRüstungsbegrenzungsverhandlungen pl
(Her) → Wappen nt


arms control
arms dealer
nWaffenhändler(in) m(f)
arms race
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ɑːmz] npl
a. (weapons) → armi fpl
to be up in arms (fig) → essere sul piede di guerra
b. (Heraldry) (also coat of arms) → stemma m
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(aːm) verb
1. to give weapons to (a person etc). to arm the police.
2. to prepare for battle, war etc. They armed for battle.
armed adjective
having a weapon or weapons. An armed man robbed the bank; Armed forces entered the country.
arms noun plural
1. weapons. Does the police force carry arms?
2. a design etc which is used as the symbol of the town, family etc (see also coat of arms).
be up in arms
to be very angry and make a great protest (about something). He is up in arms about the decision to close the road.
take up arms (often with against)
to begin fighting. The peasants took up arms against the dictator.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws.
Joe sat on the stool, leaning far back into the corner, head thrown back and arms outstretched on the ropes to give easy expansion to the chest.
Alleyne, from the window of the armory, looked down upon the strange scene--the circles of yellow flickering light, the lines of stern and bearded faces, the quick shimmer of arms, and the lean heads of the horses.
The same spirit of legislation prevailed with respect to their bearing arms and their gymnastic exercises; for the poor are excused if they have no arms, but the rich are fined; the same method takes place if they do not attend their gymnastic exercises, there is no penalty on one, but there is on the other: the consequence of which is, that the fear of this penalty induces the rich to keep the one and attend the other, while the poor do neither.
The creatures were about ten or fifteen feet tall, standing erect, and had, like the green Martians, an intermediary set of arms or legs, midway between their upper and lower limbs.
He had seen, on the streets, with persons of her class, that the women took the men's arms. But then, again, he had seen them when they didn't; and he wondered if it was only in the evening that arms were taken, or only between husbands and wives and relatives.
Hearing this Dorothea covered her face, and Cardenio retreated into Don Quixote's room, and they hardly had time to do so before the whole party the host had described entered the inn, and the four that were on horseback, who were of highbred appearance and bearing, dismounted, and came forward to take down the woman who rode on the side-saddle, and one of them taking her in his arms placed her in a chair that stood at the entrance of the room where Cardenio had hidden himself.
"Eh," said the old man, staring at the floor and lifting his hands up and down, while his arms rested on the elbows of his chair, "it's a poor tale if I mun leave th' ould spot an be buried in a strange parish.
His puissance, trusting in th' Almightie's aide, I mean to try, whose Reason I have tri'd Unsound and false; nor is it aught but just, That he who in debate of Truth hath won, Should win in Arms, in both disputes alike Victor; though brutish that contest and foule, When Reason hath to deal with force, yet so Most reason is that Reason overcome.
I threw up my arm to defend myself from the blow that flung me headlong with a broken forearm; and the great monster, swathed in lint and with red-stained bandages fluttering about it, leapt over me and passed.
On the same evening Gryphus, as he brought the prisoner his mess, slipped on the damp flags whilst opening the door of the cell, and fell, in the attempt to steady himself, on his hand; but as it was turned the wrong way, he broke his arm just above the wrist.