Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

false alarm

noun

Simple Definition of false alarm

  • : an alarm (such as a fire alarm) that is set off when it is not needed

  • : something that causes people to wrongly believe that something bad or dangerous is going to happen

Full Definition of false alarm

  1. 1 :  an alarm (as a fire or burglar alarm) that is set off needlessly

  2. 2 :  one causing alarm or excitement that proves to be unfounded

Examples of false alarm

  1. A false alarm drew firefighters to the school.

  2. The report that the factory would be closing was a false alarm.

  3. He thought he might be having a heart attack, but his chest pains were just a false alarm.



1578

First Known Use of false alarm

1578


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up false alarm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ