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alarm noun

1 fear/worry

ADJ. considerable, great | growing | sudden | public There is growing public alarm at this increase in crime. | unnecessary

VERB + ALARM cause, create, provoke The head teacher's policies have provoked alarm among parents. | express, register Many people have expressed alarm at the plans. His face registered no alarm at all when I told him the news.

PREP. in ~ He shouted out in alarm. | to sb's ~ To her parents' alarm, she announced that she intended to travel the world. | with ~ The news has been greeted with alarm. | ~ about/at/over There has been considerable alarm about the new proposals.

PHRASES alarm and despondency (often humorous) He loves spreading alarm and despondency. | cause for alarm I see no cause for alarm, as she often arrives late.

2 warning of danger

ADJ. false The fire service was called out, but it was a false alarm.

VERB + ALARM give, raise, sound The guard raised the alarm when he discovered that six prisoners had escaped.

ALARM + NOUN call Many birds give alarm calls to warn of danger.

3 device

ADJ. fire, smoke | burglar, intruder, security | car | personal, rape Lizzie was carrying a rape alarm but it was out of reach in her handbag. | radio

VERB + ALARM set I set my alarm for 6.30. | activate, set off, trigger Unfortunately any little noise can set off the alarm. | switch off, turn off | be fitted with The fire brigade recommends that every house is fitted with a smoke alarm. | fit, install | test

ALARM + VERB go off, ring, sound The alarm went off at 7 o'clock. Suddenly the alarm sounded and they all had to leave the building.

ALARM + NOUN bell, clock, signal, system | call Book an alarm call if you need to make an early start.