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



    BrE BrE//ɑːmz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɑːrmz//
    [plural] The navy, Conflict
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  1. 1  (formal) weapons, especially as used by the army, navy, etc. arms and ammunition Police officers in the UK do not usually carry arms. Wordfinderaggression, arms, army, attack, casualty, conflict, defend, hostile, territory, war see also firearm, small arms See related entries: The navy, Conflict
  2. 2= coat of arms the King’s Arms (= used as the name of a pub)
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French armes, from Latin arma.Extra examples He was accused of supplying arms to terrorists The country’s economic growth could fuel an arms build-up. The government called on them to lay down their arms and surrender. The people took up arms to defend their country. The right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution. There were more than a million men under arms during the American Civil War. fighters using small arms and home-made grenades It was the first ‘modern’ war, with more than a million men under arms. Police officers in the UK do not usually carry arms. The UN imposed an arms embargo on the country. The arms race between the superpowers escalated still more. The government was blamed for the shortage of arms and ammunition during the first two years of the war. The royal arms appear on the door of the Queen’s carriage.Idioms (old use) to be a soldier; to fight (formal) to have weapons and be ready to fight in a war (formal) to stop fighting The government called on the terrorists to lay down their arms. (of soldiers) to hold a rifle vertical in front of the body as a mark of respect
    take up arms (against somebody)
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    (formal) to prepare to fight He encouraged his supporters to take up arms against the state.
    (be) up in arms (about/over something)
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    (informal) (of a group of people) to be very angry about something and ready to protest strongly about it See related entries: Anger
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: arms