1) N-COUNT Your arms are the two long parts of your body that are attached to your shoulders and that have your hands at the end.

She stretched her arms out...

He had a large parcel under his left arm.

2) N-COUNT The arm of a piece of clothing is the part of it that covers your arm.
3) N-COUNT The arm of a chair is the part on which you rest your arm when you are sitting down.
4) N-COUNT: usu N of n An arm of an object is a long thin part of it that sticks out from the main part.

...the lever arm of the machine.

...the arms of the doctor's spectacles.

5) N-COUNT: usu N of n An arm of land or water is a long thin area of it that is joined to a broader area.

At the end of the other arm of Cardigan Bay is Bardsey Island.

6) N-COUNT: usu sing, usu N of n An arm of an organization is a section of it that operates in a particular country or that deals with a particular activity.

Millicom Holdings is the British arm of an American company.

...the research arm of Congress.

7) PHRASE: usu v PHR, oft PHR with n If two people are walking arm in arm, they are walking together with their arms linked.

He walked from the court arm in arm with his wife.

8) PHRASE: PHR after v If you say that something costs an arm and a leg, you mean that it is very expensive. [INFORMAL]

A week at a health farm can cost an arm and a leg.

9) PHRASE: usu PHR after v If you hold something at arm's length, you hold it away from your body with your arm straight.

He struck a match, and held it at arm's length.

10) PHRASE If you keep someone at arm's length, you avoid becoming too friendly or involved with them.

She had always kept the family at arm's length.

11) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR (emphasis) If you say that a list is as long as your arm, you are emphasizing that it is very long. [INFORMAL]
12) PHRASE: PHR after v (approval) If you welcome some action or change with open arms, you are very pleased about it. If you welcome a person with open arms you are very pleased about their arrival.

They would no doubt welcome the action with open arms...

Many Panamanians welcomed the troops with open arms.

13) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you twist someone's arm, you persuade them to do something. [INFORMAL]

She had twisted his arm to get him to invite her.

II [[t]ɑ͟ː(r)m[/t]] WEAPONS
arms, arming, armed
1) N-PLURAL: oft N n Arms are weapons, especially bombs and guns. [FORMAL]

The IRA had extensive supplies of arms.

...arms control.

2) VERB If you arm someone with a weapon, you provide them with a weapon.

[V n with n] She'd been so terrified that she had armed herself with a loaded rifle...

[V n] Arming the police doesn't deter crime.

3) VERB If you arm someone with something that will be useful in a particular situation, you provide them with it.

[V n with n] She thought that if she armed herself with all the knowledge she could gather she could handle anything...

[V-ed] Armed only with a BBC microphone, I travelled across South Africa meeting writers.

4) N-PLURAL The arms of a city or of a noble family are its coat of arms. Arms is often used in the names of British pubs.

...china painted with the arms of Philippe V.

...his local pub, the Abercorn Arms.

5) See also , -armed, , comrade-in-arms, small arms
6) PHRASE: V inflects A person's right to bear arms is their right to own and use guns, as a means of defence.
7) PHRASE: V inflects If soldiers lay down their arms, they stop fighting and give up their weapons. [OLD-FASHIONED]
8) PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR against n If one group or country takes up arms against another, they prepare to attack and fight them.

They threatened to take up arms against the government if their demands were not met.

9) PHRASE If a country has people under arms, it has people trained to use weapons and to fight a war.

There are nearly four million soldiers under arms in this country.

10) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR If people are up in arms about something, they are very angry about it and are protesting strongly against it.

Environmental groups are up in arms about plans to sink an oil well close to Hadrian's Wall.

English dictionary. 2008.


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