- Usually arms. weapons, especially firearms.
- arms, Heraldry. 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; armorial bearings; coat of arms.
verb (used without object)
- to enter into a state of hostility or of readiness for war.
verb (used with object)
- 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; support; 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; make fit; ready.
- bear 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.
- take up arms, to prepare for war; go to war: to take up arms against the enemy.
- under 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; indignant; outraged: There is no need to get up in arms over such a trifle.
- (in man) either of the upper limbs from the shoulder to the wristRelated adjective: 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 massan arm of the sea; the arm of a record player
- an administrative subdivision of an organizationan arm of the government
- power; authoritythe arm of the law
- any of the specialist combatant sections of a military force, such as cavalry, infantry, etc
- nautical See yardarm
- sport, esp ball games ability to throw or pitchhe has a good arm
- an arm and a leg informal a large amount of money
- arm in arm with arms linked
- at arm’s length at a distance; away from familiarity with or subjection to another
- give one’s right arm informal to be prepared to make any sacrifice
- in the arms of Morpheus sleeping
- with open arms with great warmth and hospitalityto welcome someone with open arms
- (tr) archaic to walk arm in arm with
- to equip with weapons as a preparation for war
- to provide (a person or thing) with something that strengthens, protects, or increases efficiencyhe armed himself against the cold
- 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
- nautical to pack arming into (a sounding lead)
- (usually plural) a weapon, esp a firearm
- adjustable rate mortgage
n.1“upper limb,” Old English earm “arm,” from Proto-Germanic *armaz (cf. Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Middle Dutch, German arm, Old Norse armr, Old Frisian erm), from PIE root *ar- “fit, join” (cf. Sanskrit irmah “arm,” Armenian armukn “elbow,” Old Prussian irmo “arm,” Greek arthron “a joint,” Latin armus “shoulder”). Arm of the sea was in Old English. Arm-twister “powerful persuader” is from 1938. Arm-wrestling is from 1899. They wenten arme in arme yfere Into the gardyn [Chaucer] n.2“weapon,” c.1300, armes (plural) “weapons of a warrior,” from Old French armes (plural), “arms, war, warfare,” mid-13c., from Latin arma “weapons” (including armor), literally “tools, implements (of war),” from PIE root *ar- “fit, join” (see arm (n.1)). The notion seems to be “that which is fitted together.” Meaning “heraldic insignia” (in coat of arms, etc.) is early 14c.; originally they were borne on shields of fully armed knights or barons. v.“to furnish with weapons,” c.1200, from Old French armer or directly from Latin armare, from arma (see arm (n.2)). Related: Armed; arming. n.
- An upper limb of the human body, connecting the hand and wrist to the shoulder.
Also, take up the cudgels. Become involved in a conflict, either physical or verbal, as in The Kurds took up arms against the Iranians at least two centuries ago, or Some believe it’s the vice-president’s job to take up the cudgels for the president. The first term originated in the 1400s in the sense of going to war. The variant, alluding to cudgels as weapons, has been used figuratively since the mid-1600s and is probably obsolescent. In addition to the idioms beginning with arm