bearing firearms; having weapons:
a heavily armed patrol.
maintained by :
armed peace.
involving the use of weapons:
armed conflict.
The students came armed with their pocket calculators.
(especially of an animal) covered protectively, as by a shell.
fortified; made secure:
Armed by an inveterate optimism, he withstood despair.
(of an artillery shell, bomb, missile, etc.) having the fuze made operative.
Usually, arms. weapons, especially .
arms, Heraldry. the escutcheon, with its divisions, charges, and tinctures, and the other components forming an achievement that symbolizes and is reserved for a person, family, or corporate body; armorial bearings; .
to enter into a state of hostility or of readiness for war.
to equip with weapons:
to arm the troops.
to activate (a fuze) so that it will explode the charge at the time desired.
to cover protectively.
to provide with whatever will add strength, force, or security; support; fortify:
He was armed with statistics and facts.
to equip or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use:
to arm a security system; to arm oneself with persuasive arguments.
to prepare for action; make fit; ready.
bear arms,

to carry weapons.
to serve as a member of the military or of contending forces:
His religious convictions kept him from bearing arms, but he served as an ambulance driver with the Red Cross.

take up arms, to prepare for war; go to war:
to take up arms against the enemy.
under arms, ready for battle; trained and equipped:
The number of men under arms is no longer the decisive factor in warfare.
up in arms, ready to take action; indignant; outraged:
There is no need to get up in arms over such a trifle.
Contemporary Examples

All 10 of the least armed (including the District of Columbia) voted for Barack Obama.
The Most Armed States The Daily Beast June 27, 2010

The government and the armed opposition have signed a ceasefire, in a hopeful step after weeks of bloody fighting.
Government Ceasefire Is First Step Towards Peace in South Sudan John Prendergast, Akshaya Kumar January 23, 2014

armed with new research (PDF), proponents are challenging that conventional wisdom.
What Does an Increase in the Minimum Wage Do to the Economy? Brandy Zadrozny December 8, 2013

Then they took me to the car surrounded by armed men with cars, who seemed to protect them.
The Secret Life of an ISIS Warlord Will Cathcart, Vazha Tavberidze, Nino Burchuladze October 26, 2014

It will be two independent nations fighting, armed with conventional weapons and no shortage of bad blood between them.
Birth of a Nation John Avlon July 8, 2011

Historical Examples

Adams armed himself with a cowhide, and watched for his victim.
The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; Various

They were armed with muskets, and commanded by native officers.
Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic

Or, since now I was armed, why could I not boldly start an assault?
Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 Various

Its feet are armed with thick, strong, conical claws, suitable for digging.
The Western World W.H.G. Kingston

It was again restored on the dissolution of the armed neutrality.
The Every Day Book of History and Chronology Joel Munsell

equipped with or supported by arms, armour, etc
prepared for conflict or any difficulty
(of an explosive device) prepared for use; having a fuse or detonator installed
(of plants) having the protection of thorns, spines, etc

having an arm or arms
(in combination): long-armed, one-armed

(in man) either of the upper limbs from the shoulder to the wrist related adjective brachial
the part of either of the upper limbs from the elbow to the wrist; forearm

the corresponding limb of any other vertebrate
an armlike appendage of some invertebrates

an object that covers or supports the human arm, esp the sleeve of a garment or the side of a chair, sofa, etc
anything considered to resemble an arm in appearance, position, or function, esp something that branches out from a central support or larger mass: an arm of the sea, the arm of a record player
an administrative subdivision of an organization: an arm of the government
power; authority: the arm of the law
any of the specialist combatant sections of a military force, such as cavalry, infantry, etc
(nautical) See yardarm
(sport) especially (ball games) ability to throw or pitch: he has a good arm
(informal) an arm and a leg, a large amount of money
arm in arm, with arms linked
at arm’s length, at a distance; away from familiarity with or subjection to another
(informal) give one’s right arm, to be prepared to make any sacrifice
in the arms of Morpheus, sleeping
with open arms, with great warmth and hospitality: to welcome someone with open arms
(transitive) (archaic) to walk arm in arm with
verb (transitive)
to equip with weapons as a preparation for war
to provide (a person or thing) with something that strengthens, protects, or increases efficiency: he armed himself against the cold

to activate (a fuse) so that it will explode at the required time
to prepare (an explosive device) for use by introducing a fuse or detonator

(nautical) to pack arming into (a sounding lead)
(usually pl) a weapon, esp a firearm
adjustable rate mortgage

“equipped for battle,” early 13c., past participle adjective from arm (v.).

“upper limb,” Old English earm “arm,” from Proto-Germanic *armaz (cf. Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Middle Dutch, German arm, Old Norse armr, Old Frisian erm), from PIE root *ar- “fit, join” (cf. Sanskrit irmah “arm,” Armenian armukn “elbow,” Old Prussian irmo “arm,” Greek arthron “a joint,” Latin armus “shoulder”). Arm of the sea was in Old English. Arm-twister “powerful persuader” is from 1938. Arm-wrestling is from 1899.

They wenten arme in arme yfere Into the gardyn [Chaucer]

“weapon,” c.1300, armes (plural) “weapons of a warrior,” from Old French armes (plural), “arms, war, warfare,” mid-13c., from Latin arma “weapons” (including armor), literally “tools, implements (of war),” from PIE root *ar- “fit, join” (see arm (n.1)). The notion seems to be “that which is fitted together.” Meaning “heraldic insignia” (in coat of arms, etc.) is early 14c.; originally they were borne on shields of fully armed knights or barons.

“to furnish with weapons,” c.1200, from Old French armer or directly from Latin armare, from arma (see arm (n.2)). Related: Armed; arming.

arm 1 (ärm)
An upper limb of the human body, connecting the hand and wrist to the shoulder.


A police officer


highflag (Cabdrivers)

Related Terms

as long as your arm, crooked arm, one-arm bandit, ride the arm, stiff, twist someone’s arm

[police sense fr arm of the law]
adjustable rate mortgage
Alien Resistance Movement
antiradiation missile
Armenia (international vehicle ID)

used to denote power (Ps. 10:15; Ezek. 30:21; Jer. 48:25). It is also used of the omnipotence of God (Ex. 15:16; Ps. 89:13; 98:1; 77:15; Isa. 53:1; John 12:38; Acts 13:17)

arm and a leg
arm in arm

also see:

at arm’s length
babe in arms
forewarned is forearmed
give one’s eyeteeth (right arm)
long arm of the law
one-armed bandit
put the arm on
shot in the arm
take up arms
talk someone’s arm off
twist someone’s arm
up in arms
with one arm tied behind
with open arms

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