from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An upper limb of the human body, connecting the hand and wrist to the shoulder.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Something, such as a sleeve on a garment or a support on a chair, that is designed to cover or support the human arm.
  • n. A relatively narrow extension jutting out from a large mass: an arm of the sea. See Synonyms at branch.
  • n. An administrative or functional branch, as of an organization.
  • n. Power or authority: the long arm of the law.
  • n. Sports The skill of throwing or pitching a ball well.
  • idiom an arm and a leg Slang An excessively high price: a cruise that cost an arm and a leg.
  • idiom arm in arm With arms linked together: They walked across the beach arm in arm.
  • idiom at arm's length At such a distance that physical or social contact is discouraged: kept the newcomer at arm's length at first.
  • idiom with open arms With great cordiality and hospitality.
  • n. A weapon, especially a firearm: troops bearing arms; ICBMs, bombs, and other nuclear arms.
  • n. A branch of a military force: infantry, armor, and other combat arms.
  • n. Warfare: a call to arms against the invaders.
  • n. Military service: several million volunteers under arms; the profession of arms.
  • n. Heraldry Bearings.
  • n. Insignia, as of a state, an official, a family, or an organization.
  • intransitive v. To supply or equip oneself with weaponry.
  • intransitive v. To prepare oneself for warfare or conflict.
  • transitive v. To equip with weapons: armed themselves with loaded pistols; arm a missile with a warhead; arm a nation for war.
  • transitive v. To equip with what is needed for effective action: tax advisers who were armed with the latest forms.
  • transitive v. To provide with something that strengthens or protects: a space reentry vehicle that was armed with a ceramic shield.
  • transitive v. To prepare (a weapon) for use or operation, as by releasing a safety device.
  • idiom up in arms Extremely upset; indignant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Poor; lacking in riches or wealth.
  • adj. To be pitied; pitiful; wretched.
  • n. The portion of the upper human appendage, from the shoulder to the wrist and sometimes including the hand.
  • n. The extended portion of the upper limb, from the shoulder to the elbow.
  • n. A long, narrow, more or less rigid part of an object extending from the main part or centre of the object, such as the arm of an armchair, a crane, a pair of spectacles or a pair of compasses.
  • n. A bay or inlet off a main body of water.
  • n. A weapon.
  • n. heraldic bearings or insignia
  • v. To supply with armour or (later especially) weapons.
  • v. To prepare a tool or a weapon for action, to activate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The limb of the human body which extends from the shoulder to the hand; also, the corresponding limb of a monkey.
  • n. Anything resembling an arm.
  • n. The fore limb of an animal, as of a bear.
  • n. A limb, or locomotive or prehensile organ, of an invertebrate animal.
  • n. A branch of a tree.
  • n. A slender part of an instrument or machine, projecting from a trunk, axis, or fulcrum.
  • n. The end of a yard; also, the part of an anchor which ends in the fluke.
  • n. An inlet of water from the sea.
  • n. A support for the elbow, at the side of a chair, the end of a sofa, etc.
  • n. Fig.: Power; might; strength; support
  • n. A branch of the military service.
  • n. A weapon of offense or defense; an instrument of warfare; -- commonly in the pl.
  • intransitive v. To provide one's self with arms, weapons, or means of attack or resistance; to take arms.
  • transitive v. To take by the arm; to take up in one's arms.
  • transitive v. To furnish with arms or limbs.
  • transitive v. To furnish or equip with weapons of offense or defense
  • transitive v. To cover or furnish with a plate, or with whatever will add strength, force, security, or efficiency
  • transitive v. Fig.: To furnish with means of defense; to prepare for resistance; to fortify, in a moral sense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take by the arm; also, to seize or hold in the arms.
  • To furnish or equip with weapons for offense or defense: as, to arm the militia.
  • To cover or provide with whatever will add strength, force, or security: as, to arm the hilt of a sword; to arm a man-of-war with armor-plates.
  • To furnish with means of defense; prepare for resistance; fortify.
  • To provide with the requisite appliances or authority for any work or undertaking: as, armed with axes and alpenstocks, we started out; armed with a warrant.
  • To fit or prepare (a thing) for any specific purpose or effective use: as, to arm a hook in angling; to arm a dressing in surgery.
  • To provide one's self with arms, weapons, or means of attack or resistance; take arms: as, the nations arm for war.
  • n. In ordinary language: The upper limb of the human body, extending from the shoulder to the hand, and including the latter.
  • n. The same, exclusive of the hand; the upper limb from the shoulder to the wrist. It is divided into upper arm, or arm proper, from the shoulder to the elbow, and lower arm, or forearm, from the elbow to the wrist.
  • n. In human anatomy, the anterior extremity from the shoulder-joint to the elbow-joint, represented by the extent of the humerus; the brachium, as distinguished from the forearm or antebrachium.
  • n. In comparative anatomy and zoology: The fore limb of any vertebrate, especially when terminating in a prehensile extremity like a hand, more or less removed from the office of locomotion; the pectoral or thoracic limb; the diverging appendage of the scapular arch or shoulder-girdle; a fore leg, wing, pectoral fin, etc.
  • n. Some diverging or radiating part or organ like or likened to an arm, as the arm of a cephalopod, the wing of a pteropod, the brachium of a brachiopod, and the ray of a starfish, sand-star, or crinoid.
  • n. Anything formed on the type of the arm, or resembling an arm in shape, position, or function.
  • n. Figuratively, power; might; strength; authority: as, the secular arm.
  • n. Hence That on which one relies for support or assistance; a prop; a stay.
  • n. Milit.: A weapon.
  • n. plural Armor; coverings for the body intended as defenses against weapons of war.
  • n. A branch of the military service, as cavalry or artillery: as, the enemy was strong in artillery, but we were weak in that arm.
  • n. Hence plural The use of weapons; military occupations; war.
  • n. plural Deeds or exploits of war.
  • n. In law, anything which a man takes in his hand in anger to strike or assault another.
  • n. plural In botany, anything that serves as a defense to a plant, as prickles, thorns, or spines.
  • n. plural In falconry, the legs of a hawk from the thigh to the foot.
  • n. plural The heraldic bearings of an individual or a community, consisting of some device in heraldic tinctures (see tincture) borne on a shield, generally with the addition of a crest and sometimes with supporters.
  • n. Synonyms Arm, Weapon. Arm is especially applied to those things which are designed for fighting and recognized as such; it includes means of defense as well as of offense. Weapon applies to any means of offense made for the purpose or (as a scythe, chisel, or hammer) used for the nonce.
  • n. In violin-playing, the arm or its action in reference to the style of bowing: as, he plays with a good arm.
  • n. In archery, the longitudinal half of a bow, extending from the handle to the end of the bowstaff: limb: classified as upper and lower arm, according to their relative position when the bow is held perpendicularly, as in shooting.
  • n. At a disadvantage: as, to work at arm's length.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. prepare oneself for a military confrontation
  • n. any projection that is thought to resemble a human arm
  • n. the part of an armchair or sofa that supports the elbow and forearm of a seated person
  • n. any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting
  • n. a human limb; technically the part of the superior limb between the shoulder and the elbow but commonly used to refer to the whole superior limb
  • n. a division of some larger or more complex organization
  • n. the part of a garment that is attached at the armhole and that provides a cloth covering for the arm
  • v. supply with arms


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English earm, from Proto-Germanic *armaz (“arm”), from Proto-Indo-European *arəm- (“arm”), a suffixed form of *ar- (“to fit together”). Cognate with Latin armus ("the uppermost part of the arm, shoulder"), Greek.1 ἁρμός (harmos, "joint, shoulder"), Greek.2 ἅρμα (harma, "wagon, chariot"), Avestan 𐬀𐬭𐬨𐬀 (arma) and Old Persian arma.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English arm ("poor, wretched"), from Old English earm ("poor, miserable, pitiful, wretched"), from Proto-Germanic *armaz (“poor”), from Proto-Indo-European *erm- (“poor, ill”). Cognate with Dutch arm ("poor"), German arm ("poor"), Swedish arm ("poor").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old French arme, from Latin arma ("weapons"), from Proto-Indo-European *ar-mo-, a suffixed form of *ar- (“to fit together”), hence ultimately cognate with etymology 1.



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