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’
    • ‘Swimming is also great for the arms and upper body strength.’
    • ‘The sling on his left shoulder held his injured arm snugly against his body.’
    • ‘Keep your arm and shoulder muscles relaxed, and move your arms slowly back and forth.’
    • ‘She winced, a large purple and tender bruise had enveloped her elbow and arm.’
    • ‘It usually presents as weakness of one part of the body, often an arm or a leg, and the weakness gradually gets worse.’
    • ‘Lymphedema causes chronic swelling of part of the body, usually an arm or leg.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘About a month later, Lovejoy started regaining movement in his arms and upper 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.’
    • ‘The hands began to warm up and so did my legs but my arms and upper body were still very cold.’
    • ‘Mondays and Thursdays in my weight training class focus on arms and upper body strength.’
    • ‘I laughed all of a sudden and propped myself on my elbows, my arms crossed on the table.’
    • ‘He required skin grafts to his upper body, arms and legs and spent almost two months in the hospital's burns unit.’
    • ‘They are most often found on the trunk of the body and on the arms and legs.’
    • ‘Pain can occur in specific muscles like arms, shoulders or legs or be more generalized.’
    • ‘It is marked by weakness in the facial muscles and weakness and wasting of the shoulders and upper arms.’
    • ‘Warts can be found on any part of the body but are common on the fingers, hands, arms, and feet.’
    • ‘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.’
    upper limb, forelimb, appendage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A flexible limb of an invertebrate animal, e.g. an octopus.
      • ‘One mystery is the purpose of the fine, hairlike filaments that coat the crab's arms and legs.’
      • ‘When hunting and grabbing dinner, the octopus uses all the flexibility the arm is capable of.’
      • ‘Mladenov also observed a crinoid arm in the claw of the crab Oregonia gracilis.’
      • ‘In feeding, the arms of crinoids can be arranged in several ways.’
      • ‘The food is transferred down the arms to the mouth by tube feet located on the pinnules and arms.’
      • ‘The terminal is an unpaired ossicle occurring at the dorsal tip of the arm.’
      • ‘Feather stars spread their arms, each grooved to direct the flow of food to the mouth.’
      • ‘Here's a typical view of a tangle of octopus arms, all covered with circular suckers.’
      • ‘Most fossil starfish consist of scattered individual plates or segments of arms.’
      • ‘The suckers are attached to the arms by a series of extrinsic muscle bundles.’
      • ‘An ophiuroid can easily cast off portions of an arm if attacked by a predator.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 A sleeve of a garment.
      • ‘I liked how he had them secretly under his shirt arm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 An ability to bowl, pitch, or throw a ball skilfully:
      ‘he has a good arm’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Dye, like all kids with superior arms, used to love throwing the ball to the catcher on the fly.’
      • ‘He has the arm to make any throw, but it's his solid base that scouts have praised.’
      • ‘Maybe he'll use his explosive arm to throw out a runner and save a victory, as he did the second week.’
      • ‘Davis has one of the best arms in the organization, but his repertoire remains a work in progress.’
      • ‘He might have the best arm in the organization and can hit for power and average.’
      • ‘He was a quarterback with a pretty good arm and he had to have the play sent in by the quarterback.’
      • ‘Windsor is like John Hudgins, a great arm that threw a ton of innings.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
      ‘he arrived with a pretty girl on his arm’
      • ‘Ever the gentleman he offered her an arm for support and she accepted thankfully.’
      • ‘Back at the jetty I was offered an arm for support, but refused.’
    5. 1.5 Used to refer to something powerful or protective:
      ‘they have extended the arm of friendship to developing countries’
      • ‘Alison butted in and placed a protective arm around her daughter as she gave her a kiss on the forehead.’
      • ‘He moved to Georgia, dropping to the sofa next to her and wrapping a protective arm around her.’
      • ‘Families dressed in black placed protective arms around one another as they waited for the first glimpse of their loved ones.’
      • ‘Kevin wrapped a protective arm around Lana who squirmed out of his grasp disgusted.’
      • ‘He rolled back and fell into the protective arms of his governess, finally at peace.’
      • ‘You want to put your protective arms around your child and make her whole again.’
      • ‘He wrapped a protective arm around her, trying to be assuring but he knew it wasn't working.’
      • ‘Mark stepped in between Scott and me and put a protective arm in front of me.’
      • ‘Josh pulled me closer to him on the bed and put his arm protectively around me.’
      • ‘Priss kept a protective arm around her lover's waist, not too tight, not too loose.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 shaft drive is hidden in the aluminium alloy swing arm.’
    • ‘The completed machine could roam around and had a fully functional arm.’
    • ‘Robotic arms can be quickly programmed to weld in the spots needed for different vehicles.’
    • ‘The number of pounds per dump is adjusted by correctly setting the counterweight up or down on the counterweight arm.’
    • ‘Specially designed rotary cultivators with retractor arms can be used to control weeds in tree rows.’
    • ‘This adjustment is usually controlled by setting the position of the tractor lift arms.’
    • ‘The bracket-like arms projected towards each other from opposite banks and served as spans of the bridge.’
    • ‘The pedestrian walkway rests on steel transverse arms that hang on the cables.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now the backhoe's lower center frame sits on the support, taking the weight off the stabilizer arms.’
    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’
      • ‘He was sitting in the chair, with a pillow wedged between his right side and the arm of the chair.’
      • ‘Boy, was I glad my chair had arms - otherwise I would have fallen off it.’
      • ‘He sat in his father's seat, slouching back, propped lightly on the arm of the chair.’
      • ‘Ian's younger brother, Wayne, sits on the other arm of the chair, playing along.’
      • ‘Cole immediately threw the stand with the chess set and grabbed hold of the arms of Sara's seat.’
      • ‘Then I couldn't open the window because of high heavy curtains and was balancing on the arms of a chair fighting the drapes.’
      • ‘The superintendent called me into his office, perching intimately on the arm of my 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.’
      • ‘His hand rested on the metal arm of the chair and his head lay in his hand.’
      • ‘John ordered him to sit, motioning to the arm of his chair since all of the seats were taken up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I put the book in her lap and leaned over the arm of her chair as we looked at the pictures.’
      • ‘Cora shook her head and rested her chin on a hand as her elbow rested on the arm of the easy chair.’
      • ‘She found her husband's briefcase propped on the arm of a chair, with her name written on it.’
      • ‘Shoving one hand into his pocket, he rested his free palm against the arm of his chair and slowly stood up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The devices will be very cheap and small enough to integrate into the arm of a chair.’
      • ‘As though summoned by her thoughts, he appeared at the arm of her deck chair.’
    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’
      inlet, creek, cove, fjord, bay, voe
      View synonyms
  • 3A branch or division of a company or organization:

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

Phrases

  • arm in arm

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

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

    • informal Very long:

      ‘I have a list of vices as long as your arm’
      • ‘Given his level of popularity amongst work colleagues, family and the wider public the suspect list is as long as your arm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Twelve years ago he was a healthy marathon runner, but now he has a list of symptoms as long as your arm.’
      • ‘They know what is going on because I have a list of crime reference numbers as long as my 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.’
      • ‘There's also another 'To Do' list as long as my arm, but I'm feeling too ill to do any of it.’
      • ‘He's got a record as long as your arm, starting with petty theft and working his way up to your house.’
      • ‘The list is as long as your arm, but the beneficiaries may have been as surprised as anyone else.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He has a fantastic c.v. as long as your arm including all kinds of community service and professional accomplishment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The list of ingredients was as long as your arm, and it was pretty much artificial everything.’
      • ‘‘Straight away people are coming up to us with a big list as long as their arm of people doing bad things,’ he said.’
      • ‘Before I knew it I had a pile of book as long as my arm and twice as high.’
      • ‘‘If one had a record as long as one's arm, wouldn't a circus be the ideal place to hide,’ the judge commented.’
      • ‘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.’
  • at arm's length

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

      ‘I held the telephone at arm's length’
      • ‘His hands dropped from her back, but she held him at arm's length, gripping his shoulders defiantly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now simply grasp the dowel with both hands, hold it out at arm's length and alternately wind and unwind the cord.’
      • ‘Nero holds his daughter at arm's length while he investigates the issues.’
      • ‘He brought up his gun, holding it at arm's length with both hands.’
      • ‘As a woman she was not allowed to touch him, so made her diagnosis 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.’
      • ‘The man in the passenger side draped a white flag out the window at arm's length.’
      • ‘Damon took it from her and held it out at arm's length to look at it.’
      • ‘I give him a cheque, at arm's length, but can't find my guarantee card.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Aunt Gail moved back, holding me at arm's length, tears glistening in her eyes.’
      • ‘He held the bag at arm's length, glowering at me as if he had a bad smell under his nose.’
      • ‘Hurriedly I picked up the annoying, buzzing thing and held it at arm's length.’
      • ‘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.’
    • 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had a wonderful chance today but he kept me at arm's length.’
      • ‘Mediæval kings may have been surrounded by importunate projectors and alchemists, but they mostly kept them 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He deliberately kept his sister at arm's length; what few real close friends he had you could probably count on one hand.’
      • ‘Events become increasingly chaotic as Ellwood desperately tries to seal his deal while simultaneously keeping the suspicious sergeant at arm's length.’
      • ‘But unlike the older star, Bardem has so far kept Hollywood at arm's length.’
      • ‘They kept me at arm's length, they had to because of my reckless behaviour.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For all their charms, Mamet's early films had a stagy, mannered quality that kept the viewer at arm's length.’
      • ‘It feels dated and it keeps us at arm's length from the violence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘McConnell is notoriously territorial and will be tempted to keep Alexander 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.’
      • ‘She said that they still talked, but she kept him at arm's length; they were not as close.’
      avoid, keep away from, stay away from, steer clear of, circumvent, give a wide berth to
      View synonyms
  • cost an arm and a leg

    • Be extremely expensive:

      ‘the coat had cost him an arm and a leg’
      • ‘We will be sorry to leave St John House but it is a listed building and costs an arm and a leg to keep maintained.’
      • ‘‘It costs an arm and a leg to keep this church going,’ she said, while noting, ‘The elderly worshipers have been very true to their offerings.’’
      • ‘Clearly it would cost an arm and a leg to rebuild.’
      • ‘Just because something costs an arm and a leg, doesn't mean it's the best thing in the world, ‘she objected.’’
      • ‘Any private insurance scheme would cost an arm and a leg to collect in comparison to that, so why bother?’
      • ‘It won't cost an arm and a leg to upgrade it and, hopefully, the work will commence sooner rather than later.’
      • ‘These were animals with a wealth of breeding behind them, stock which would cost an arm and a leg to replace if indeed they ever could be replaced.’
      • ‘‘I told him I wanted a system that didn't cost an arm and a leg,’ says O'Callaghan.’
      • ‘Traditional paddling pools are fun and, more importantly, do not cost an arm and a leg, so they sell well.’
      • ‘But remember to leave time to ski back to base - taxis up and down the intervening valleys can cost an arm and a leg.’
      • ‘It was costing an arm and a leg and it would not have been commercially acceptable to the parent companies of either companies to have carried on spending the sort of money necessary.’
      • ‘I heard good food around here costs an arm and a leg.’
      • ‘But this is one of Sweden's more traditional national sports, born out of long and deeply chilly winter evenings in a country where alcohol costs an arm and a leg.’
      • ‘According to Scott: ‘The good news is that a car with sex appeal doesn't necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg.’
      • ‘She knew it ‘was costing an arm and a leg’ so she wished us well before I had spent the price of a pint on the call.’
      • ‘And, remember, it costs an arm and a leg to raise a family these days.’
      • ‘I expect the meals will cost an arm and a leg, in a town where shops get 80 applications for counter jobs.’
      • ‘Try living on that in London, where a cup of coffee costs an arm and a leg.’
      • ‘It may still be one of the glitziest games on earth but it no longer needs to cost an arm and a leg to watch the sport, or even to play it.’
      • ‘In Scotland, fishing of this calibre would cost an arm and a leg, and would probably be booked out year after year.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Do you know there are millions and millions of kids who would give their right arm to be where you are right now?’
      • ‘I also know that half of the guys in town would give their right arm to go out with her.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'd give my right arm to live to see those problems solved.’
      • ‘In percentage terms, that is a 22 per cent increase - an outstanding rise that most clubs would give their right arm for.’
      • ‘Nothing to be ashamed of in this house - many people would give their right arm for it.’
      • ‘If you are music-crazy, you would gladly give your right arm to own one such system.’
      • ‘Other European economies, struggling to contain their deficits, would give their right arm for such a surplus.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘‘Any manufacturing outlet would give their right arm for the maintenance team we had here’, Mr O'Donnell stressed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most people would give their right arm to have this opportunity.’
      • ‘Bermuda's prosperous, tolerant and most other countries would give their right arm to have the problems we do.’
      • ‘There were girls from his school who would give their right arm to go out with him… just because of those stunning eyes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 long (or strong) arm of the law

    • The far-reaching power of the law:

      ‘the long arm of the law caught up with him’
      • ‘Anyone in his position would have wanted to completely forget about his escape from 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘People throwing items from buildings on to streets will also feel the long arm of the law,’ warned De Villiers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now the ‘untouchables’ of the underworld are about to feel 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘No executive is so prominent as to avoid 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was a bad year for fugitives and others trying to escape the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘I didn't know that you were the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘The defendant ran, but he could not hide from the long arm of the law,’ Brown said.’
      • ‘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.’
  • put the arm on

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

      ‘she started putting the arm on them for donations’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When Sam arrives to put the arm on Norman, it can be said that neither actor inhabits his role.’
  • under one's arm

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

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

    • With great affection or enthusiasm:

      ‘schools have welcomed such arrangements with open arms’
      • ‘Lot welcomes the strangers with open arms, as is customary for the times.’
      • ‘Although many tourists were trying to leave, those that chose to stay were welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘With their friendly disposition and infectious enthusiasm, the lads are welcomed with open arms by locals of all ages.’
      • ‘The people of Canada are great travellers who, in most cases, are welcomed with open arms wherever they go.’
      • ‘However some of those who have ventured into the countryside say they have not exactly been welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘Stars support exiting team members and welcome new members with open arms and enthusiasm.’
      • ‘And if there is one place that can welcome them with open arms, it is the church.’
      • ‘They were welcomed with open arms by the local prince and his subjects.’
      • ‘The small villages away from the coast are resplendent with tapas bars and cafés that will welcome families 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.’
      • ‘The community, seeing the whole affair as a great miscarriage of justice, will welcome them back with open arms.’
      • ‘People of his class and calibre would be welcomed with open arms in any, and every, other county in the country.’
      • ‘Anyone who can walk for the Club on this occasion and help raise much needed funds will be welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The South Americans are also sending over their footballers and the Spaniards are welcoming them with open arms.’
      • ‘In 1969, when it arrived in East Kilbride, the company was welcomed with open arms.’
      • ‘Councillor Latty welcomed the original application with open arms.’
      • ‘The team of volunteers are a friendly bunch, and they would welcome any new helpers with open arms.’
      • ‘As a member of the executive of Athletics Ireland, I welcome this development 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.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I turned to my left, and he was standing there within arm's reach of me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Youngblood also criticizes fast-food restaurants that have cash drawers within arm's reach - worse, at hand level - of drive-up windows.’
      • ‘It's normally pretty hard to nudge someone when they aren't 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sadly, many of these sculptures have the noses chopped off, as they are all 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many pilots also keep extra warm clothing within arm's reach in the cockpit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 never saw Claude Nougaro without a book within arm's reach, or carried in the little suitcase he took on tour.’
      • ‘I sailed on towards Wellington Harbour 70 miles away, saved only by the branches of a willow tree trailing mercifully 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.’
      • ‘The man's hands grabbed me under the armpits when I came within arm's reach.’

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’
    • ‘One night he armed himself with an axe as Fred and his wife slept at their home.’
    • ‘Many school officials fed up with violence are arming themselves with their own high-tech weapons.’
    • ‘A man is receiving hospital treatment after he armed himself with a kitchen knife and robbed a Clacton chemist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Last year, Strathclyde Police found youth street gangs were arming themselves with an arsenal of household utensils which double up as weapons.’
    • ‘Final went to arm himself with his Mace, but stopped once he realized that he could do nothing at such a far distance.’
    • ‘From a few feet back, Will had put away his dagger and armed himself with a bow and arrow.’
    • ‘They had armed themselves with wooden poles or sticks, hammers and at least one axe.’
    • ‘Nor was it in dispute that he had armed himself with a CS gas canister before going out.’
    • ‘He got up from the table, armed himself with a few guns and walked out of the inn.’
    • ‘He was armed with a long piece of hoe stick as ran on his spindly legs towards the yelping dogs.’
    • ‘I thought of arming myself with pepper spray as a weapon but never got any, or needed it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That cannot begin to justify your actions in arming yourself with a deadly weapon.’
    • ‘Many of them were armed with nothing more than scythe blades mounted on the end of long poles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He then became angry and threw a plastic Christmas tree at him, ran into the kitchen and armed herself with a knife.’
    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 you were armed with the financial knowledge you now have would you have done things differently?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the current art marketplace, arming yourself and your staff with all the tools you can makes good business sense.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On a typical Holi day, preparations begin by arming oneself with shades of brightly colored powder and water guns.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Before going she armed herself with as many facts and figures as she could lay her hands on.’
      • ‘More importantly, she went to Fort Lauderdale and armed herself with the knowledge of how to handle a pistol.’
      • ‘When I first embarked on the research I was armed with only a very vague strategy and a lot of high hopes.’
      • ‘Our submission in response to that is that the courts are armed with all of the powers to decide these issues.’
      • ‘Police were later to discover that Bieber had armed himself with two more false identities.’
      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’
    • ‘It was just a pair of guards, however, and they were arming a thermal explosive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jace turned to see five marines aiming at him; three standing and two crouched on one knee arming their grenade launchers.’
    • ‘Gannon crept closer to the right side of the rock and made sure his weapons were armed.’
    • ‘In the missile round a team had to arm itself with missiles and choose another to attack.’
    • ‘The enrichment programme could be used to arm nuclear warheads.’
    • ‘Roy scoffed and shook his head quietly as he signaled Steve to arm the weapons.’
    • ‘Odin's fingers flew over the console, skipping from key to key, arming all weapons on the ship.’
    • ‘If these elements can convince the military to carry out a coup, they can surely convince them to arm the missiles.’
    • ‘Jonathan looked at the paper while they were in the elevator, ‘These are codes for arming and disarming missiles.’’
    • ‘He found the safety and pressed it through, arming the weapon.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

arm

/ɑːm/