Main definitions of arm in English

: arm1arm2

arm1

noun

  • 1Each of the two upper limbs of the human body from the shoulder to the hand.

    ‘she held the baby in her arms’
    • ‘Warts can be found on any part of the body but are common on the fingers, hands, arms, and feet.’
    • ‘Swimming is also great for the arms and upper body strength.’
    • ‘I laughed all of a sudden and propped myself on my elbows, my arms crossed on the table.’
    • ‘Lymphedema causes chronic swelling of part of the body, usually an arm or leg.’
    • ‘About a month later, Lovejoy started regaining movement in his arms and upper body.’
    • ‘She winced, a large purple and tender bruise had enveloped her elbow and arm.’
    • ‘The hands began to warm up and so did my legs but my arms and upper body were still very cold.’
    • ‘Keep your arm and shoulder muscles relaxed, and move your arms slowly back and forth.’
    • ‘He required skin grafts to his upper body, arms and legs and spent almost two months in the hospital's burns unit.’
    • ‘Mondays and Thursdays in my weight training class focus on arms and upper body strength.’
    • ‘Pain can occur in specific muscles like arms, shoulders or legs or be more generalized.’
    • ‘She held her arms up slowly and curved at her elbows, each arm going in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘It is also great for toning your upper body, arms and leg muscles.’
    • ‘They are most often found on the trunk of the body and on the arms and legs.’
    • ‘It is marked by weakness in the facial muscles and weakness and wasting of the shoulders and upper arms.’
    • ‘In Greco-Roman wrestling competitors use only their arms and upper bodies to attack their opponent.’
    • ‘It is a good idea to do some gentle jogging or brisk walking for ten minutes, followed by gentle stretches of the arms, legs and upper body.’
    • ‘It usually presents as weakness of one part of the body, often an arm or a leg, and the weakness gradually gets worse.’
    • ‘The sling on his left shoulder held his injured arm snugly against his body.’
    • ‘The nerve fibres that serve sensation and motor function in the shoulders, arms, and hands travel to and from the spinal cord in the neck.’
    upper limb, forelimb, appendage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A flexible limb of an invertebrate animal, e.g. an octopus.
      • ‘An ophiuroid can easily cast off portions of an arm if attacked by a predator.’
      • ‘One mystery is the purpose of the fine, hairlike filaments that coat the crab's arms and legs.’
      • ‘In feeding, the arms of crinoids can be arranged in several ways.’
      • ‘When hunting and grabbing dinner, the octopus uses all the flexibility the arm is capable of.’
      • ‘The food is transferred down the arms to the mouth by tube feet located on the pinnules and arms.’
      • ‘Here's a typical view of a tangle of octopus arms, all covered with circular suckers.’
      • ‘Feather stars spread their arms, each grooved to direct the flow of food to the mouth.’
      • ‘Mladenov also observed a crinoid arm in the claw of the crab Oregonia gracilis.’
      • ‘The terminal is an unpaired ossicle occurring at the dorsal tip of the arm.’
      • ‘The suckers are attached to the arms by a series of extrinsic muscle bundles.’
      • ‘The basket star, looking more like a soft coral with its delicate branching arms, reaches out into the current in search of its next meal.’
      • ‘Most fossil starfish consist of scattered individual plates or segments of arms.’
    2. 1.2 A sleeve of a garment.
      • ‘I liked how he had them secretly under his shirt arm.’
      • ‘Stylish, comfortable and built for adventure, this long sleeve shirt comes with exclusive logos on the chest and the arm!’
      • ‘He was still wearing a surf suit that day, though one with short sleeves at the arms and legs coming to his knees.’
      • ‘The shirt has the same pattern as the short sleeve shirts except for an additional pattern over the biceps and the elbow on both arms.’
    3. 1.3 An ability to bowl, pitch, or throw a ball skilfully.
      ‘he has a good arm’
      • ‘The latter two are promising young arms, but neither has a polished off-speed pitch.’
      • ‘His mood was determined by the accuracy of Bret Favre's arm on any given Sunday.’
      • ‘Maybe he'll use his explosive arm to throw out a runner and save a victory, as he did the second week.’
      • ‘Favre is a passer whose brilliance is based on a huge arm and a nifty ability to avoid the rush.’
      • ‘Instead, the Jets will try to take advantage of Clemens' superior arm’
      • ‘He might have the best arm in the organization and can hit for power and average.’
      • ‘Windsor is like John Hudgins, a great arm that threw a ton of innings.’
      • ‘He has the arm to make any throw, but it's his solid base that scouts have praised.’
      • ‘He was a quarterback with a pretty good arm and he had to have the play sent in by the quarterback.’
      • ‘Davis has one of the best arms in the organization, but his repertoire remains a work in progress.’
      • ‘Dye, like all kids with superior arms, used to love throwing the ball to the catcher on the fly.’
    4. 1.4 Used to refer to the holding of a person's arm in support or companionship.
      ‘as they walked he offered her his arm’
      ‘I'm so proud to have you on my arm’
      • ‘Back at the jetty I was offered an arm for support, but refused.’
      • ‘Ever the gentleman he offered her an arm for support and she accepted thankfully.’
    5. 1.5 Used to refer to something powerful or protective.
      ‘they have extended the arm of friendship to developing countries’
      • ‘All eyes turned to mea and Hugh put a protective arm around me and glared at Serena.’
      • ‘The little girl moved closer to her mother who instinctively put a protective arm around her, drawing her in closer.’
      • ‘Not long after, she felt Elias turn in the sheets and wrap a protecting arm around her.’
      • ‘Alison asked she sat down beside Rachel and put a protective arm around her.’
      • ‘You want to put your protective arms around your child and make her whole again.’
      • ‘Priss kept a protective arm around her lover's waist, not too tight, not too loose.’
      • ‘Families dressed in black placed protective arms around one another as they waited for the first glimpse of their loved ones.’
      • ‘He wrapped a protective arm around her, trying to be assuring but he knew it wasn't working.’
      • ‘He rolled back and fell into the protective arms of his governess, finally at peace.’
      • ‘Kevin wrapped a protective arm around Lana who squirmed out of his grasp disgusted.’
      • ‘Mark stepped in between Scott and me and put a protective arm in front of me.’
      • ‘Alison butted in and placed a protective arm around her daughter as she gave her a kiss on the forehead.’
      • ‘Josh pulled me closer to him on the bed and put his arm protectively around me.’
      • ‘He moved to Georgia, dropping to the sofa next to her and wrapping a protective arm around her.’
      reach, power, force, authority, strength, might, potency
      View synonyms
  • 2A thing comparable to an arm in form or function, typically something that projects from a larger structure.

    ‘cables will secure the boom to steel arms installed near the top of the tower’
    ‘a cat was curled up on an arm of the tree’
    • ‘The completed machine could roam around and had a fully functional arm.’
    • ‘The number of pounds per dump is adjusted by correctly setting the counterweight up or down on the counterweight arm.’
    • ‘Robotic arms can be quickly programmed to weld in the spots needed for different vehicles.’
    • ‘This adjustment is usually controlled by setting the position of the tractor lift arms.’
    • ‘Now the backhoe's lower center frame sits on the support, taking the weight off the stabilizer arms.’
    • ‘Specially designed rotary cultivators with retractor arms can be used to control weeds in tree rows.’
    • ‘The pedestrian walkway rests on steel transverse arms that hang on the cables.’
    • ‘The shaft drive is hidden in the aluminium alloy swing arm.’
    • ‘The stair is further supported by the girders at each floor, and by a steel arm that projects from the south wall at each landing.’
    • ‘The bracket-like arms projected towards each other from opposite banks and served as spans of the bridge.’
    1. 2.1 A side part of a chair or other seat on which a sitter can rest their arm.
      ‘he draped his legs over the arm of the sofa’
      ‘a large walnut desk chair with padded arms’
      • ‘Then I couldn't open the window because of high heavy curtains and was balancing on the arms of a chair fighting the drapes.’
      • ‘There was a hole in the arm of the chair, and she picked out tiny pieces of foam and arranged them in a pattern like a flower.’
      • ‘Cora shook her head and rested her chin on a hand as her elbow rested on the arm of the easy chair.’
      • ‘I keep a waste paper bin next to the chair I sit on so I had visions of it having bounced off the arm of the chair and into the bin.’
      • ‘John ordered him to sit, motioning to the arm of his chair since all of the seats were taken up.’
      • ‘Ian's younger brother, Wayne, sits on the other arm of the chair, playing along.’
      • ‘As though summoned by her thoughts, he appeared at the arm of her deck chair.’
      • ‘I served them their drinks and promptly seated myself on the arm of the chair Ayden sat in.’
      • ‘She had seated herself casually on the arm of a chair as if to promote her lack of intent to impinge.’
      • ‘Boy, was I glad my chair had arms - otherwise I would have fallen off it.’
      • ‘I put the book in her lap and leaned over the arm of her chair as we looked at the pictures.’
      • ‘The superintendent called me into his office, perching intimately on the arm of my chair.’
      • ‘He was sitting in the chair, with a pillow wedged between his right side and the arm of the chair.’
      • ‘He sat in his father's seat, slouching back, propped lightly on the arm of the chair.’
      • ‘Cole immediately threw the stand with the chess set and grabbed hold of the arms of Sara's seat.’
      • ‘His hand rested on the metal arm of the chair and his head lay in his hand.’
      • ‘The devices will be very cheap and small enough to integrate into the arm of a chair.’
      • ‘She got down on her knees, poked her head over the arm of a chair and stared at us as if she had been electrocuted.’
      • ‘Shoving one hand into his pocket, he rested his free palm against the arm of his chair and slowly stood up.’
      • ‘She found her husband's briefcase propped on the arm of a chair, with her name written on it.’
    2. 2.2 A narrow strip of water or land projecting from a larger body.
      ‘the whole place is divided into two equal parts by an arm of the sea’
      • ‘Herald Provincial Park is situated on the west shore of the Salmon Arm of Shuswap Lake.’
      • ‘Shuswap Lake is shaped like an H and is made up of four large arms: the Shuswap Lake Main Arm, Salmon Arm, Anstey Arm, and Seymour Arm.’
      • ‘Prior to the breach, the elevation of the south arm was over 3.5 feet higher than the north arm.’
      • ‘The hills and narrowing canyon of this arm lure the paddler to explore quiet places, fish, and swim.’
      • ‘The breach consisted of a 300-foot-long bridge-covered opening in the causeway near Lakeside, which allowed the rapid flow of south-arm water into the north arm.’
      inlet, creek, cove, fjord, bay, voe
      View synonyms
  • 3A branch or division of a company or organization.

    ‘the political arm of the separatist group’
    • ‘The conference bureau and the marketing arm of the operation will stay together and retain the current level of funding.’
    • ‘The RAC Foundation, the lobbying arm of the motoring organisation, is now calling for a rethink on speed cameras.’
    • ‘The Defence Procurement Agency, an arm of the Ministry of Defence, will start the selection process this week.’
    • ‘No longer was it to be the political arm of the Church; instead it would mediate among the various social groups.’
    • ‘From these evolved some newspapers that served as editorial arms of political parties.’
    • ‘The agency, an arm of central Government has recently unveiled maps showing the extent of flood risk across the country.’
    • ‘Cadbury put its European beverages arm up for sale last month so it could focus on its confectionery arm and drinks business elsewhere.’
    • ‘The Party is seeking to recast itself as the political arm of a religious community.’
    • ‘Profits in the US arm in the first quarter of the year were lower than last year when it had benefited from unusually hot weather.’
    • ‘The foundation acts as a research arm and umbrella organization for its member companies.’
    • ‘Less well-known is the work of The Big Issue Foundation, the charity arm of the organisation.’
    • ‘Jobcentre Plus, an arm of the Department of Works and Pensions, is creating 250 new jobs at the site.’
    • ‘First, it is given direction by a political arm, or college, of Commissioners, but the college is unelected.’
    • ‘Bakrie has been a prominent figure in Golkar, the political arm of the former Suharto dictatorship.’
    branch, section, department, division, subdivision, wing, sector, chapter, lodge, detachment, agency, office, bureau, offshoot, satellite, extension
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Each of the types of troops of which an army is composed, such as infantry or artillery.
      • ‘Defence is reviewing this application and role of armour in Army's combined arms team.’
      • ‘Field Artillery is a basic combat arm, and the Army fights as a combined arms team.’
      • ‘This meant that both arms of the German military would be actively involved in war operations.’
      • ‘The war produced rich experience of interaction between engineer troops and other arms.’
      • ‘A similar combined arms battalion is the centerpiece of the future unit of action.’
      • ‘This is an army that is learning its trade as a combined arms team at very high cost.’
      • ‘The artillery arm has produced many great generals, most notably Napoleon.’
      • ‘In the opening days, a combined arms brigade task force was the first to deploy.’
      • ‘Lee recognized the inherent weakness of this system and began to reorganize the artillery arm.’
      • ‘Belief in the Army combined arms team is intuitive for all of us from the day that we enter the service.’
  • 4Mathematics
    Each of the lines enclosing an angle.

    • ‘The arm is labeled A, a black line falling from left to right.’
    • ‘One of the arms of angle [alpha] and one of the arms of angle [beta] are extended by the same amount.’
    • ‘The test line could be rotated as much as 11° clockwise or counterclockwise with respect to the relevant arm of the inducing angle.’
    • ‘In the first of these evaluations of angle perception, subjects were asked to rotate a test line until it appeared collinear with the indicated arm of the inducing angle.’
    • ‘If the inducing angle is overestimated, the test line should be seen as parallel when it is actually rotated away from the nearby arm of the angle’

Phrases

  • arm in arm

    • (of two or more people) with arms linked.

      ‘they walked arm in arm’
      • ‘It is common for two grown men to greet by kissing each other on both cheeks, and for either men or women to walk down the street arm in arm.’
      • ‘We walked arm in arm away from the Evergreen together in the thinly snow covered ground.’
      • ‘One day Dominic and Jocelyn took a long walk around town together, arm in arm.’
      • ‘We walked down together arm in arm and soon were laughing together in the old way.’
      • ‘Walking through the grass were three women, arm in arm, singing out loud.’
      • ‘It was snowing again when Carol and I walked back to Unit Nine, arm in arm, and unlocked our familiar door.’
      • ‘Rain and Ryan walked arm in arm through the streets of the streets, watching the fading sunlight in the sky.’
      • ‘A man and woman, likely husband and wife, elegantly dressed, walked arm in arm in the moonlight.’
      • ‘It was just as well that the music stopped at that moment and the couple walked away, arm in arm, vanishing amidst the crowd.’
      • ‘Here, they are all out under the arcades, walking slowly, often arm in arm.’
      • ‘Then she came across a picture of Sasha and him, arm in arm together, sitting beside a waterfall.’
      • ‘He turned to see his brother and Danielle walking up, arm in arm, both beaming in each other's company.’
      • ‘Eliza and Bernadette walked arm in arm into the two-story house they were residing in for the summer.’
      • ‘Orunmila and Elegua turned and walked away arm in arm.’
      • ‘As they walked away, arm in arm, Egewe turned several times, ensuring that no one was following them.’
      • ‘We left and walked arm in arm along a sunny, tree lined avenue peppered with designer stores.’
      • ‘They walked down the hall together arm in arm not aware of the secrets each was keeping from the other.’
      • ‘Seven decades on, they returned to the church to celebrate their platinum anniversary and once again walked down the aisle arm in arm.’
      • ‘Trace and I were linked arm in arm, waiting politely for some people to enter before we made our way out.’
      • ‘Evening is beginning to fall and a young couple walks past me me, arm in arm.’
  • as long as one's (or someone's) arm

    • informal Very long.

      ‘I have a list of vices as long as your arm’
      • ‘The man elected chairman that opening night was a retired Brigadier with a pedigree as long as your arm, and a penchant for shouting orders at subordinates.’
      • ‘There's also another 'To Do' list as long as my arm, but I'm feeling too ill to do any of it.’
      • ‘The list of ingredients was as long as your arm, and it was pretty much artificial everything.’
      • ‘Before I knew it I had a pile of book as long as my arm and twice as high.’
      • ‘The business employs some 20 full and part-time people and there's a waiting list as long as your arm of young girls wanting to don the mob-cap on Saturdays and in school holidays.’
      • ‘We have a list as long as your arm of stuff to do before they arrive - sort out beds, clean the hovel we live in etc etc.’
      • ‘He has a fantastic c.v. as long as your arm including all kinds of community service and professional accomplishment.’
      • ‘He's got a record as long as your arm, starting with petty theft and working his way up to your house.’
      • ‘He's got a record as long as your arm and I think a few months in prison would be the wake-up call he needs.’
      • ‘‘If one had a record as long as one's arm, wouldn't a circus be the ideal place to hide,’ the judge commented.’
      • ‘What's more, we guarantee that it will be in the bookshops before Christmas with lists of pre-sale orders that are as long as your arm.’
      • ‘There were many times that the police were forced to drag us away from our protests, and I probably would have had a criminal record as long as your arm if the magistrate hadn't been Cecil's brother.’
      • ‘Given his level of popularity amongst work colleagues, family and the wider public the suspect list is as long as your arm.’
      • ‘‘Straight away people are coming up to us with a big list as long as their arm of people doing bad things,’ he said.’
      • ‘He was an ex-Hells Angel; he had a police record as long as your arm but when I moved in he was cool. He'd calmed down and all his youthful anti-social behaviour was a thing of the past.’
      • ‘Finally, just as you thought it was safe to hang up Santa's stocking, along came a show with a Christmas list as long as your arm.’
      • ‘The list is as long as your arm, but the beneficiaries may have been as surprised as anyone else.’
      • ‘They know what is going on because I have a list of crime reference numbers as long as my arm.’
      • ‘Twelve years ago he was a healthy marathon runner, but now he has a list of symptoms as long as your arm.’
      • ‘In a couple of days I might be posting a list of issues as long as your arm, but right now, two hours after completion, I'm a happy customer.’
  • give one's right arm

    • informal Used to convey how much one would like to have or do something.

      ‘I'd give my right arm to go with them’
      • ‘Most people would give their right arm to have this opportunity.’
      • ‘If you are music-crazy, you would gladly give your right arm to own one such system.’
      • ‘I also know that half of the guys in town would give their right arm to go out with her.’
      • ‘There are plenty of girls who would give their right arm to be on this squad and you're willing to throw it all away.’
      • ‘Bermuda's prosperous, tolerant and most other countries would give their right arm to have the problems we do.’
      • ‘‘Any manufacturing outlet would give their right arm for the maintenance team we had here’, Mr O'Donnell stressed.’
      • ‘They are the sort of doctor's orders some people would happily give their right arm for.’
      • ‘There are peasant boys that would give their right arm to be a prince for a day!’
      • ‘Other European economies, struggling to contain their deficits, would give their right arm for such a surplus.’
      • ‘I'm sure many people will be saying this week that they'd give their right arm to go to Saturday's FA Cup Final.’
      • ‘Negativity in London could have crushed him, but a return home and some quiet soul searching provided fresh impetus for a career which many Northern Ireland actors would give their right arm for.’
      • ‘Most actors would give their right arm to have one successful character and I've had four.’
      • ‘I know tens of ex-footballers out of the game without jobs, with great talent, who would give their right arm to be in my position now.’
      • ‘The civil servant was fortunate to be offered early retirement on full pension benefits - the kind most of us would give our right arm for.’
      • ‘In percentage terms, that is a 22 per cent increase - an outstanding rise that most clubs would give their right arm for.’
      • ‘I'd give my right arm to live to see those problems solved.’
      • ‘Do you know there are millions and millions of kids who would give their right arm to be where you are right now?’
      • ‘Nothing to be ashamed of in this house - many people would give their right arm for it.’
      • ‘So when I started writing, if someone said you're going to have a book in the best-seller list, I would have thought that's amazing and I would give my right arm for that.’
      • ‘There were girls from his school who would give their right arm to go out with him… just because of those stunning eyes.’
  • the long (or strong) arm of the law

    • The far-reaching power of the law.

      ‘the long arm of the law caught up with him’
      • ‘This film follows the exploits of the Kelly Gang from 1878 to 1880 as they rob banks and dodge the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘‘The defendant ran, but he could not hide from the long arm of the law,’ Brown said.’
      • ‘Let there be no outcry when the long arm of the law extends itself to these sectors, as indeed we believe, it will soon do.’
      • ‘‘Without massive logistics, they cannot possibly maintain their shadowy network of cells and they cannot run from one hideout to another in a bid to outrun the long arm of the law,’ he noted.’
      • ‘I didn't know that you were the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘They will not generally be expected to act as the strong arm of the law but they can very usefully serve as its eyes and ears.’
      • ‘He warned the public that soccer hooliganism would not be tolerated and all those involved would be visited by the long arm of the law wherever incidents of hooliganism occurred.’
      • ‘And if there is evidence, which merits prosecution and arrests, I believe that the long arm of the law should catch whoever has perpetuated such crimes.’
      • ‘Anyone in his position would have wanted to completely forget about his escape from the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘In the Eastern Bay, 26 cars were impounded and in Taupo, 67 drivers felt the long arm of the law close around their steering wheels.’
      • ‘No executive is so prominent as to avoid the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘But he takes a stab at understanding why some relationships did not threaten the social order, and thus escaped the long arm of the law, and others did not.’
      • ‘This investigation, we believe, has served to re-establish that no one is above the law, that no scheme to defraud is too complex or too fancy to be beyond the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘It was a bad year for fugitives and others trying to escape the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘And his mode of getaway - on a mobility scooter - ensured the pensioner was never likely to escape the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘‘People throwing items from buildings on to streets will also feel the long arm of the law,’ warned De Villiers.’
      • ‘Dillon chose to cast himself in the lead, playing a con man in limbo, set adrift when his criminal father figure skips the U.S. to escape the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘Marc is furious at his brush with the long arm of the law, but Peter is certain that he's got his man… until it's proved that all of Marc's alibis check out once again.’
      • ‘Though clearly visible, face up, from the outside, the fact it wasn't in the designated display spot had attracted the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘Now the ‘untouchables’ of the underworld are about to feel the long arm of the law.’
  • put the arm on

    • informal Attempt to force or coerce (someone) to do something.

      ‘she started putting the arm on them for donations’
      • ‘When Sam arrives to put the arm on Norman, it can be said that neither actor inhabits his role.’
      • ‘To be dubbed a Ranger or a Patriot used to mean that one had gone as far as one could go in putting the arm on business colleagues for individual donations, which were then grouped into eye-popping wads.’
  • under one's arm

    • Between one's arm and one's body.

      ‘Meryl tucked the papers under her arm’
      • ‘Josh clacks away on his skateboard, which he tucks under his arm when we reach Nicollet Mall.’
      • ‘I went back to the house, Sunday paper under my arm, and had coffee on the porch before anyone else was up.’
      • ‘Worse still, it smacked of the little boy who refuses to let go of one ball even when he has another tucked under his arm.’
      • ‘Alex was carrying the canvas now wrapped in brown paper under his arm.’
      • ‘He has speed and strength, and a unique ability to tuck the ball under his arm and run for a first down.’
      • ‘An hour and a half later, he was trotting through the corridors with the papers under his arm.’
      • ‘I also awarded myself a 500-point bonanza for arriving home without a carpet tucked under my arm.’
      • ‘A man clambers onto the streetcar after having bought the daily paper and tucking it under his arm.’
      • ‘The official tucked the papers and the passports under his arm and left.’
      • ‘He was carrying Jason and Jules' breakfast in a brown paper bag tucked under his arm.’
      • ‘Anyway, I folded the paper and stuck it under my arm.’
      • ‘She tucked the paper under her arm and took a sip of the steaming tea.’
      • ‘The door burst open and a worn-out man stepped in with a stack of papers under his arm.’
      • ‘Pen put the paper under her arm and fished around in her wallet for her bus pass for she noticed that the bus had just pulled up.’
      • ‘You tuck the paper under your arm, and you're whistling when you walk through the front door.’
      • ‘A frazzled looking officer hurried out of the office with a large paper rolled up under his arm.’
      • ‘If you have anything worth saving, tuck it under your arm and start walking.’
      • ‘Over the past few years, I have become accustomed to patients coming in to see me with reams of printed paper under their arm.’
      • ‘Yesterday I dashed out for a surf, trotting off down the street in my wetsuit, board tucked under my arm.’
      • ‘I leave with K's birthday present tucked under my arm - a beautiful abstract landscape painting, of the St. Ives school.’
  • with open arms

    • With great affection or enthusiasm.

      ‘schools have welcomed such arrangements with open arms’
      • ‘Councillor Latty welcomed the original application with open arms.’
      • ‘Lot welcomes the strangers with open arms, as is customary for the times.’
      • ‘The small villages away from the coast are resplendent with tapas bars and cafés that will welcome families with open arms.’
      • ‘In 1969, when it arrived in East Kilbride, the company was welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘With their friendly disposition and infectious enthusiasm, the lads are welcomed with open arms by locals of all ages.’
      • ‘Stars support exiting team members and welcome new members with open arms and enthusiasm.’
      • ‘The people of Canada are great travellers who, in most cases, are welcomed with open arms wherever they go.’
      • ‘The South Americans are also sending over their footballers and the Spaniards are welcoming them with open arms.’
      • ‘There are those who welcome them with open arms and others who pretend they have to go somewhere five minutes before the doorbell rings.’
      • ‘Neighbour Chris did not say as much, but gave the impression that not everybody in the area had welcomed the new arrival with open arms.’
      • ‘No, I will continue on this path, and I will go where it takes me with open arms and an open mind.’
      • ‘As a member of the executive of Athletics Ireland, I welcome this development with open arms.’
      • ‘Although many tourists were trying to leave, those that chose to stay were welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘The team of volunteers are a friendly bunch, and they would welcome any new helpers with open arms.’
      • ‘People of his class and calibre would be welcomed with open arms in any, and every, other county in the country.’
      • ‘However some of those who have ventured into the countryside say they have not exactly been welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘They were welcomed with open arms by the local prince and his subjects.’
      • ‘Anyone who can walk for the Club on this occasion and help raise much needed funds will be welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘The community, seeing the whole affair as a great miscarriage of justice, will welcome them back with open arms.’
      • ‘And if there is one place that can welcome them with open arms, it is the church.’
  • within (or beyond) arm's reach

    • Near (or not near) enough to reach by extending one's arm.

      ‘he came closer, almost within arm's reach’
      ‘the bookshelf is within arm's reach of my computer’
      • ‘Youngblood also criticizes fast-food restaurants that have cash drawers within arm's reach - worse, at hand level - of drive-up windows.’
      • ‘And for obvious reasons, the country is full of guns - everyone does a stint of compulsory military service, so pretty much everyone in their early 20s is within arm's reach of a firearm at all times.’
      • ‘In a hospital setting, the most extreme situations may call for a ‘sitter’ who will remain within arm's reach of the patient for the duration of the watch.’
      • ‘When he got almost within arm's reach, he stopped abruptly, which showed good sense, because she could already feel every muscle in the Admiral's feisty frame tensing for action.’
      • ‘I am writing this as I sit in my office, having just completed a call on my wireless phone, despite the fact that two landline phones (one cordless) are within arm's reach.’
      • ‘I sailed on towards Wellington Harbour 70 miles away, saved only by the branches of a willow tree trailing mercifully within arm's reach.’
      • ‘Tabbi saw her new-found friends off and then went back to the cavern, staying as far away from the unconscious body as possible and keeping her semi-automatic within arm's reach.’
      • ‘Sadly, many of these sculptures have the noses chopped off, as they are all within arm's reach.’
      • ‘Carefully listening to Alisha's words, I bowed my head down in guilt for all I had said about the girl, and when I looked back up, I found that she had moved closer to me and was now within arm's reach.’
      • ‘Once you've started work on something, it goes into the 'In Process' area (the largest in the system), which should be within arm's reach.’
      • ‘Vincent sat at the table in the corner of a bar that was next door to his hotel; his feet were propped up on the table, a frosted glass full of beer within arm's reach, and an empty plate that had had his lunch on it beside the glass.’
      • ‘They looked over toward the back of the tent to see that the girl with aqua-lavender-white hair had wormed under the back ‘wall’ and now stood within arm's reach.’
      • ‘It's normally pretty hard to nudge someone when they aren't within arm's reach.’
      • ‘Actually, after taking a step back in hopes to control my cravings I was able to take notice of more delectable delights that might share my tastes and actually be within arm's reach.’
      • ‘The man's hands grabbed me under the armpits when I came within arm's reach.’
      • ‘Many pilots also keep extra warm clothing within arm's reach in the cockpit.’
      • ‘City policy for group rentals and public swims requires one adult in the pool within arm's reach for every four children who can't swim and are less than 42 inches in height.’
      • ‘I never saw Claude Nougaro without a book within arm's reach, or carried in the little suitcase he took on tour.’
      • ‘I turned to my left, and he was standing there within arm's reach of me.’
      • ‘Put a double layer of paper towel on your work surface, and set all the ingredients (shrimp, vegetable mixture, peanuts, cooked vermicelli, herbs) around you within arm's reach.’
  • at arm's length

    • 1Away from the body, with one's arm fully extended.

      ‘I held the telephone at arm's length’
      • ‘Aunt Gail moved back, holding me at arm's length, tears glistening in her eyes.’
      • ‘He brought up his gun, holding it at arm's length with both hands.’
      • ‘He also remembers a bottle of brown medicine that was so vile to smell that even his mother had to hold it at arm's length.’
      • ‘You're wondering if there will be enough room even to hold your book at arm's length above shoulder level and squint at the small type on the train.’
      • ‘Claw held the pearl-handled pistol at arm's length, studying the sheen on the blued barrel.’
      • ‘I held the mixing bowl and album at arm's length, tilting them away from me slightly.’
      • ‘In the picture they were both looking shy, sitting just close enough to get in view as she held the camera at arm's length.’
      • ‘Jocelyn reached behind her neck and released the clasp, removed the necklace and held it at arm's length to him.’
      • ‘As a woman she was not allowed to touch him, so made her diagnosis at arm's length.’
      • ‘Now simply grasp the dowel with both hands, hold it out at arm's length and alternately wind and unwind the cord.’
      • ‘In this piece, he stood on a white box for 24 hours, performing a complicated series of actions with objects held out at arm's length.’
      • ‘Damon took it from her and held it out at arm's length to look at it.’
      • ‘After weeks and weeks of blurred vision and of holding books and paper at arm's length, the whole world, near and far, leapt into sharp focus once more.’
      • ‘His hands dropped from her back, but she held him at arm's length, gripping his shoulders defiantly.’
      • ‘Hurriedly I picked up the annoying, buzzing thing and held it at arm's length.’
      • ‘I give him a cheque, at arm's length, but can't find my guarantee card.’
      • ‘He held the bag at arm's length, glowering at me as if he had a bad smell under his nose.’
      • ‘She held out the photographs at arm's length, gripping the rim of her eyeglasses with a free hand as if it were a telescope.’
      • ‘Nero holds his daughter at arm's length while he investigates the issues.’
      • ‘The man in the passenger side draped a white flag out the window at arm's length.’
    • 2Avoiding intimacy or close contact.

      ‘he has long fought to keep the government at arm's length from big business’
      • ‘And so, therefore, he's got to - he's got to keep us at arm's length.’
      • ‘His father has kept him at arm's length ever since his mother died giving birth to him; and his sister, the only one who seems to care much about him, is embarking on a rather troubled phase of her adolescence.’
      • ‘In fact, he is incapable of making lasting human relationships as we know them; his penchant for the truth will only allow him to keep people at arm's length.’
      • ‘Mediæval kings may have been surrounded by importunate projectors and alchemists, but they mostly kept them at arm's length.’
      • ‘For all their charms, Mamet's early films had a stagy, mannered quality that kept the viewer at arm's length.’
      • ‘But unlike the older star, Bardem has so far kept Hollywood at arm's length.’
      • ‘I had a wonderful chance today but he kept me at arm's length.’
      • ‘They kept me at arm's length, they had to because of my reckless behaviour.’
      • ‘It feels dated and it keeps us at arm's length from the violence.’
      • ‘Debbie led a frugal life so she could send a large part of her salary to her family and kept male admirers at arm's length.’
      • ‘The overall strategy should be the same as it always was at least until the 1980s - to keep potential adversaries at arm's length.’
      • ‘She said that they still talked, but she kept him at arm's length; they were not as close.’
      • ‘He deliberately kept his sister at arm's length; what few real close friends he had you could probably count on one hand.’
      • ‘There were some who never trusted me and kept me at arm's length and a few who had serious mental illnesses or developmental disabilities that made it impossible for us to develop a rapport.’
      • ‘McNealy has long fought to keep the government at arm's length from big business and says that too much intrusion could be enough to take the fun out of being a CEO.’
      • ‘But they started off in the same way of trying to keep the press at arm's length and trying to control things.’
      • ‘Events become increasingly chaotic as Ellwood desperately tries to seal his deal while simultaneously keeping the suspicious sergeant at arm's length.’
      • ‘Yet part of his great skill as a documentary-maker is his way of consulting all the experts, then keeping them at arm's length when he is making his decisions - precisely what has triggered the backlash.’
      • ‘While the contractors reassured us that they were keeping him at arm's length, we couldn't be entirely sure that they were not tempted by the prospect of some easy extra money on the back of our job.’
      • ‘McConnell is notoriously territorial and will be tempted to keep Alexander at arm's length.’
      avoid, keep away from, stay away from, steer clear of, circumvent, give a wide berth to
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English arm, earm, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch arm and German Arm.

Pronunciation

arm

/ɑːm/

Main definitions of arm in English

: arm1arm2

arm2

verb

[with object]
  • 1Supply or provide with weapons.

    ‘the security forces are armed with automatic rifles’
    • ‘The key similarity was the evidence that in both incidents he had armed himself with two knives.’
    • ‘The defendant first got a knife and then armed himself with the ornamental sword.’
    • ‘Nor was it in dispute that he had armed himself with a CS gas canister before going out.’
    • ‘He was armed with a long piece of hoe stick as ran on his spindly legs towards the yelping dogs.’
    • ‘That cannot begin to justify your actions in arming yourself with a deadly weapon.’
    • ‘Last year, Strathclyde Police found youth street gangs were arming themselves with an arsenal of household utensils which double up as weapons.’
    • ‘He got up from the table, armed himself with a few guns and walked out of the inn.’
    • ‘A man is receiving hospital treatment after he armed himself with a kitchen knife and robbed a Clacton chemist.’
    • ‘Many of them were armed with nothing more than scythe blades mounted on the end of long poles.’
    • ‘They had armed themselves with wooden poles or sticks, hammers and at least one axe.’
    • ‘One night he armed himself with an axe as Fred and his wife slept at their home.’
    • ‘The complainant during the trial said that he had not armed himself with the knife and that the knife had been in the kitchen drawer.’
    • ‘Derek, Richard and Wade didn't even have to have me tell them to start going to their rooms and begin arming themselves with body armour and other weapons.’
    • ‘I thought of arming myself with pepper spray as a weapon but never got any, or needed it.’
    • ‘From a few feet back, Will had put away his dagger and armed himself with a bow and arrow.’
    • ‘Many school officials fed up with violence are arming themselves with their own high-tech weapons.’
    • ‘He then became angry and threw a plastic Christmas tree at him, ran into the kitchen and armed herself with a knife.’
    • ‘He was butted in the face and grabbed a hammer to protect himself as the thugs armed themselves with a spade and a knife.’
    • ‘She said he had armed himself with a bottle, but was on the edge of the incident in which he had been seriously stabbed.’
    • ‘Final went to arm himself with his Mace, but stopped once he realized that he could do nothing at such a far distance.’
    provide, supply, equip, furnish, issue, fit out, fit up, outfit, rig out, accoutre, gird, provision, stock
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Supply or provide with equipment, tools, or other items in preparation or readiness for something.
      ‘she armed them with brushes and mops’
      • ‘If I really want some chips, I pick up a single-size serving, and I steer clear of the vending machine, arming myself by preparing fruits and vegetables as snacks.’
      • ‘Start new staffers with some of these basics and you'll be arming them with handy reference tools for dealing with a few basic customer questions.’
      • ‘Just arm yourself with a reliable stopwatch, sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in one of those shops, and count the number of cups of coffee that are sold in an hour.’
      • ‘In the current art marketplace, arming yourself and your staff with all the tools you can makes good business sense.’
      • ‘He claimed that we'd all be a lot safer if researchers would keep details about vulnerabilities to themselves, and stop arming hackers with offensive tools.’
      • ‘Police were later to discover that Bieber had armed himself with two more false identities.’
      • ‘If you were armed with the financial knowledge you now have would you have done things differently?’
      • ‘Police chiefs are drafting guidelines on the possibility of arming door supervisors with the solid steel restraints - as a way of better protecting themselves and members of the public.’
      • ‘Our submission in response to that is that the courts are armed with all of the powers to decide these issues.’
      • ‘On a typical Holi day, preparations begin by arming oneself with shades of brightly colored powder and water guns.’
      • ‘Before going she armed herself with as many facts and figures as she could lay her hands on.’
      • ‘When I first embarked on the research I was armed with only a very vague strategy and a lot of high hopes.’
      • ‘Now is the time to use existing knowledge and skills to empower patients as well as arming the all important asthma nurses with the tools for the job.’
      • ‘More importantly, she went to Fort Lauderdale and armed herself with the knowledge of how to handle a pistol.’
      • ‘Hearing voices in the entrance hall, Beth hastily tugged down her nightgown and crept into bed, arming herself with a book as an effective prop.’
      prepare, forearm, make ready, brace, steel, fortify
      View synonyms
  • 2Activate the fuse of (a bomb, missile, or other explosive device) so that it is ready to explode.

    ‘the bomb would be quite safe until it was armed’
    • ‘The enrichment programme could be used to arm nuclear warheads.’
    • ‘Jonathan looked at the paper while they were in the elevator, ‘These are codes for arming and disarming missiles.’’
    • ‘Gannon crept closer to the right side of the rock and made sure his weapons were armed.’
    • ‘He found the safety and pressed it through, arming the weapon.’
    • ‘Roy scoffed and shook his head quietly as he signaled Steve to arm the weapons.’
    • ‘He reached up and flicked a switch, arming his missiles.’
    • ‘With no other viable option, Rushwind plans his attack run, and begins arming his remaining weapons.’
    • ‘If these elements can convince the military to carry out a coup, they can surely convince them to arm the missiles.’
    • ‘In the missile round a team had to arm itself with missiles and choose another to attack.’
    • ‘It was just a pair of guards, however, and they were arming a thermal explosive.’
    • ‘Jace turned to see five marines aiming at him; three standing and two crouched on one knee arming their grenade launchers.’
    • ‘Odin's fingers flew over the console, skipping from key to key, arming all weapons on the ship.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French armer (verb), from Latin armare, from arma ‘armour, arms’.

Pronunciation

arm

/ɑːm/