Definition of under arms in English:

under arms


  • Equipped and ready for war or battle.

    ‘the country had up to one million men under arms’
    • ‘Ninety members of the tribe are currently under arms, with 30 deployed in Iraq.’
    • ‘The country would have a full draft, with probably at least two million under arms.’
    • ‘Europe keeps 2.3 million troops under arms - many of them poorly trained conscripts.’
    • ‘Even though they have not been required to reduce their conventional forces, the destruction of weapons and economic difficulties have led to a substantial reduction of men under arms.’
    • ‘When you have a million and a half men under arms, you have a tinder box.’
    • ‘Though the war ended almost 30 years ago, Vietnam still has nearly half a million men under arms.’
    • ‘In general, the French tended to be more impatient for some kind of action than the British because with 2.7 million Frenchmen under arms they feared that total inactivity would demoralize the population.’
    • ‘Though Nguyen Van Thieu still had over a million men under arms, his forces collapsed in panic, with soldiers trying desperately to reach any port to escape.’
    • ‘You do not have that problem in the army, because they understand that they are men under arms, observing rank and grade.’
    • ‘Although the country has a defence budget broadly equivalent to that of Switzerland, there are 1.35 million people under arms.’
    • ‘If you are a state maintaining a million men under arms, in all sorts of places in the world, doing principally peacekeeping functions, you have to ask yourself to what degree this imposes greater cost on our missions.’
    • ‘Even so, by the outbreak of war in 1939 Germany had more than 4.5 million men under arms, including those in training.’
    • ‘The active duty Israeli Defense Force is fairly small, with only about 150,000 men and women under arms.’
    • ‘He can fairly claim that at the time of capture he was under arms as a foreign volunteer for a sovereign government which he supported.’
    • ‘They have more men and women under arms than we have in the police service.’
    • ‘The ministry, with about 1 million men under arms, is the country's largest armed forces agency.’
    • ‘How many men do they still have under arms, and what are they doing?’
    • ‘The Butah Brigades have an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 men under arms.’
    • ‘China seems a possibility, but one has to wonder if the United States would ever risk placing a major force ashore in a country as vast as China and one with over a billion people, some three million of whom are under arms.’
    • ‘Much of Europe's defense spending goes to keeping large numbers of semi-skilled soldiers under arms, rather than providing modern equipment or high-tech training.’