Definition of alarm bell
: a bell that sounds when an alarm is activated —often used figuratively … the Mexican swine flu outbreak that is sounding alarm bells [=causing people to become worried or alarmed] across the world … — Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, 30 Apr. 2009 The spike in oil prices has set off alarm bells across the automobile industry.
First Known Use: 1548See Words from the same year
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First Known Use of alarm bell
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