One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A warning cry made by a bird or other animal when startled.‘the alarm call stimulates other nearby blackbirds to take evasive action’
- ‘This is usually an alarm call whose pitch is raised when a threat stalks her eggs or chicks.’
- ‘In research terms, the grunts are known as functionally referential signals: signals that animals give to each other in response to an outside event or object, such as an alarm call that warns of a predator.’
- ‘As soon as the fruit began to ripen, a walk down the garden would be greeted by a Blackbird or Song Thrush alarm call as the birds inside the cage tried to get out.’
- ‘To exclude the possibility of a male calling in response to the other males' alarm calls rather than to potential predators, an alarm call was ignored if uttered within 10 s the call of the other male.’
- ‘They'll give off an alarm call that other birds can hear for miles.’
2A telephone call made by prior arrangement to wake the person called.
- ‘I trot back to bed for two minutes' sleep and the next alarm call.’
- ‘My alarm call was set for 6.45 am, but for the second day in a row I woke up at 5.’
- ‘I had an alarm call for 8: 00 am as you have to get up early if you want be up in time for breakfast at these Bed & Breakfast places.’
- ‘After an early alarm call and a four-hour journey to London, Cougars could have been forgiven if it had been their early play which was sluggish, but they hit the Skolars hard.’
- ‘I suppose there are other options such as television, or an telephone alarm call, or a timer on the hi-fi to play a CD.’
- ‘I got a very small amount of sleep before the alarm call and a 5: 45 am pick up by a driver and on to the airport.’
- ‘Growing up in Clydebank, his alarm call each morning was the horn from the local Singer factory, which sounded at a quarter to eight.’
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