Definition of arm noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



see also arms

part of body

1 either of the two long parts that stick out from the top of the body and connect the shoulders to the handsHe 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 blond lady on his arm (= next to him and holding his arm).

of clothing

2 the part of a piece of clothing that covers the arm synonym sleeveThe arms will need shortening.

of chair

3 the part of a chair, etc. on which you rest your armsShe perched on the arm of his chair.

of machinery

4 a long narrow part of an object or a piece of machinery, especially one that moves, for example a crane

of water/land

5 a long narrow piece of water or land that is joined to a larger areaA bridge spans the arm of the river.

of organization

6 [usually singular] arm (of something) a section of a large organization that deals with one particular activity synonym wingthe research arm of the company

(with) arms akimbo

with your hands on your hips and your elbows pointing away from your body
arms akimbowith arms akimbo

as long as your arm

(informal) very longThere's a list of repairs as long as your long as your arm

a babe in arms

(old-fashioned) a very small baby that cannot yet walka babe in arms

bear arms

(old use) to be a soldier; to fightbear arms

cost/pay an arm and a leg

(informal) to cost/pay a lot of moneycost an arm and a legpay an arm and a leg

fold your arms

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 your arms

give your right arm for something/to do something

(informal) used to say that someone is willing to give up a lot in order to have or do something that they really wantI'd have given my right arm to be there with them.give your right arm for dogive your right arm for to do

keep someone at arm's length

to avoid having a close relationship with someone
He keeps all his clients at arm's length.keep at arm's length

a shot in the arm

something that gives someone or something the help or encouragement they need
a shot in the arm

twist someone's arm

(informal) to persuade or force someone to do somethingtwist arm

with open arms

if you welcome someone with open arms, you are extremely happy and pleased to see them
with open arms
Usage noteUsage note: Physical AppearanceA person may be described as having:eyes(bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyesdeep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyessmall/beady/sparkling/twinkling/shifty eyespiercing/penetrating/steely eyesbloodshot/watery/puffy eyesbushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrowslong/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesfacea flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nosea straight/a pointy/a Roman/an aquiline nosefull/thick/thin/pouty lipsdry/chapped/cracked lipsflushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheekssoft/chubby/sunken cheekswhite/perfect/crooked/protruding teetha large/high/broad/wide foreheada strong/weak/pointed/double china long/full/bushy/wispy bearda full/thin goateea long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil mustachehair and skinpale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skindry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skina dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexiondeep/fine/small/facial wrinklesblonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/ginger/gray hairstraight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hairthick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hairdyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hairlong/short/shoulder-length/cropped haira bald/balding/shaved heada receding hairlinea bald patch/spota side/center partbodya long/short/thick/slender/(disapproving) scrawny neckbroad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shouldersa bare/broad/muscular/small/large chesta flat/round/swollen/bulging stomacha small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waistbig/wide/narrow/slim hipsa straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy backthin/slender/muscular armsbig/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved handslong/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingerslong/muscular/hairy/shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/spindly legsmuscular/chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs/calvesbig/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feeta good/slim/slender/hourglass figurebe of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build