Definition of false alarm in US English:

false alarm


  • 1A false report of a fire to a fire department.

    • ‘He said false alarms and hoaxes were causing ‘great difficulties’ for the emergency services.’
    • ‘Yes, most of the automatic fire alarms are a false alarm but our members do not set out to answer false alarms.’
    • ‘Another change would require colleges to disclose information about fire safety on campuses, including statistics on fires and false alarms.’
    • ‘Colin Swann, a young fireman, who plays the drums in the church band, confirmed that he and his colleagues regularly come under attack when they are called out - frequently to false alarms.’
    • ‘In London, after an initial 55 bogus calls and false alarms in the first six hours of the strike, crews dealt with 70 in the 24 hours up to midnight on Thursday.’
    1. 1.1 A warning given about something that fails to happen.
      • ‘Society reacts to police tragedy with tears of remorse, yet can't seem to understand why police are so aggressive in situations that turn out to be false alarms.’
      • ‘There always has to be a delicate balance between these opposing needs, to catch all the cancers while protecting women without cancer from false alarms and unnecessary invasive procedures.’
      • ‘It is difficult to see what good could come from three million passengers being on the alert - false alarms and a general climate of paranoia are likely to be the main results.’
      • ‘There have been a series of false alarms about the disease in Britain since the massive outbreak last year that effectively shut down the countryside and resulted in the slaughter of millions of cattle, pigs and sheep.’
      • ‘He said emergency operators were able to weed out a large number of hoax calls and false alarms.’


false alarm

/ˈˌfɔls əˈlɑrm//ˈˌfôls əˈlärm/