Definition of arm noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɑːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɑːrm//
    see also arms Body parts, How machines work
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    part of body
  1. 1   either of the two long parts that stick out from the top of the body and connect the shoulders to the hands He escaped with only a broken arm. She threw her arms around his neck. The officer grabbed him by the arm (= grabbed his arm). She touched him gently on the arm. He held the dirty rag at arm's length (= as far away from his body as possible). They walked along arm in arm (= with the arm of one person linked with the arm of the other). She cradled the child in her arms. They fell asleep in each other's arms (= holding each other). He was carrying a number of files under his arm (= between his arm and his body). He walked in with a tall blonde on his arm (= next to him and holding his arm). CollocationsPhysical appearance A person may be described as having:Eyes (bright) blue/​green/(dark/​light) brown/​hazel eyes deep-set/​sunken/​bulging/​protruding eyes small/​beady/​sparkling/​twinkling/(informal) shifty eyes piercing/​penetrating/​steely eyes bloodshot/​watery/​puffy eyes bushy/​thick/​dark/​raised/​arched eyebrows long/​dark/​thick/​curly/​false eyelashes/​lashesFace a flat/​bulbous/​pointed/​sharp/​snub nose a straight/​a hooked/​a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nose full/​thick/​thin/​pouty lips dry/​chapped/​cracked lips flushed/​rosy/​red/​ruddy/​pale cheeks soft/​chubby/​sunken cheeks white/​perfect/​crooked/​protruding teeth a large/​high/​broad/​wide/​sloping forehead a strong/​weak/​pointed/​double chin a long/​full/​bushy/​wispy/​goatee beard a long/​thin/​bushy/​droopy/​handlebar/​pencil moustache/ (especially US English) mustacheHair and skin pale/​fair/​olive/​dark/​tanned skin dry/​oily/​smooth/​rough/​leathery/​wrinkled skin a dark/​pale/​light/​sallow/​ruddy/​olive/​swarthy/​clear complexion deep/​fine/​little/​facial wrinkles blonde/​blond/​fair/(light/​dark) brown/(jet-)black/​auburn/​red/(British English) ginger/​grey hair straight/​curly/​wavy/​frizzy/​spiky hair thick/​thin/​fine/​bushy/​thinning hair dyed/​bleached/​soft/​silky/​dry/​greasy/​shiny hair long/​short/​shoulder-length/​cropped hair a bald/​balding/​shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/​spot a side/​centre/(US English) center (British English) parting/ (North American English) partBody a long/​short/​thick/​slender/(disapproving) scrawny neck broad/​narrow/​sloping/​rounded/​hunched shoulders a bare/​broad/​muscular/​small/​large chest a flat/​swollen/​bulging stomach a small/​tiny/​narrow/​slim/​slender/28-inch waist big/​wide/​narrow/​slim hips a straight/​bent/​arched/​broad/​hairy back thin/​slender/​muscular arms big/​large/​small/​manicured/​calloused/​gloved hands long/​short/​fat/​slender/​delicate/​bony fingers long/​muscular/​hairy/​shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/​spindly legs muscular/​chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs big/​little/​small/​dainty/​wide/​narrow/​bare feet a good/​a slim/​a slender/​an hourglass figure be of slim/​medium/​average/​large/​athletic/​stocky build See related entries: Body parts
  2. of clothing
  3. 2  the part of a piece of clothing that covers the arm synonym sleeve The arms will need shortening.
  4. of chair
  5. 3the part of a chair, etc. on which you rest your arms She perched on the arm of his chair.
  6. of machinery
  7. 4a long narrow part of an object or a piece of machinery, especially one that moves a robotic arm See related entries: How machines work
  8. of water/land
  9. 5a long narrow piece of water or land that is joined to a larger area A small bridge spans the arm of the river.
  10. of organization
  11. 6[usually singular] arm (of something) a section of a large organization that deals with one particular activity synonym wing the research arm of the company
  12. Word Originnoun Old English arm, earm, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch arm and German Arm.Extra examples He held out his arms with a broad smile. He held the dirty rag at arm’s length. He placed a comforting arm around her shoulder. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. He put an arm around her shoulders. He ran towards her and flung his arms around her. He stood there with crossed arms, looking angry. He used his good arm to support his weight. He walked in with a tall blonde on his arm. He was running forward, waving his arms. Her arms tightened convulsively around the child. Her arms were resting on the table. His arm hung awkwardly against his side. His arms clutched his stomach. His arms slid around her. I have a sore arm, so I’m afraid I can’t help you. Kris collapsed into her mother’s waiting arms. Lucy felt the warm sun on her bare arms. She carried the dog under one arm. She ducked his flailing arms. She folded her arms and stared at him. She lay curled up in the crook of his arm. She moved closer to her father and took his arm. She stood looking at him with arms akimbo. The child lay in its mother’s arms. The couple linked arms and set off along the beach. The figure in the boat raised an arm. The officer grabbed him by the arm. They fell asleep in each other’s arms. They walked along arm in arm They’re sure to welcome you with open arms. the muscles of the upper arm The bank plans to sell part of its US finance arm. The report was published by the research arm of the Department of Transport.Idioms with your hands on your hips and your elbows pointing away from your body (informal) very long There's a list of repairs as long as your arm. (old-fashioned) a very small baby that cannot yet walk (old use) to be a soldier; to fight (British English, informal) to take a risk although you will probably fail
    cost/pay an arm and a leg
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    (informal) to cost/pay a lot of money
    to put one of your arms over the other one and hold them against your body He stood watching her with his arms folded across his chest.
    fold somebody in your arms
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    (literary) to put your arms around somebody and hold them against your body
    give your right arm for something/to do something
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    (informal) used to say that somebody is willing to give up a lot in order to have or do something that they really want I'd have given my right arm to have been there with them.
    keep somebody at arm’s length
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    to avoid having a close relationship with somebody He keeps all his clients at arm's length.
    the long arm of something
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    the power and/or authority of something There is no escape from the long arm of the law.
    something that gives somebody/something the help or encouragement they need (informal) to persuade or force somebody to do something if you welcome somebody with open arms, you are extremely happy and pleased to see them
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: arm