alarm·​ing ə-ˈlär-miŋ How to pronounce alarming (audio)
: causing people to feel danger or alarm or to be worried or frightened
alarming news
The statistics revealed an alarming increase in childhood obesity.
an alarmingly high rate of infection

Examples of alarming in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Frank pointed to the polarization of Mexican politics, especially around urgent issues like the climate crisis, as an especially alarming example of how the country’s scientific reputation was already suffering. WIRED, 21 Sep. 2023 Review and Outlook: Joe Biden's low standing in the polls is alarming Democrats about the political risks for 2024, which include his age, the economy and Hunter Biden and the family business. Darrell W. Crate, WSJ, 21 Sep. 2023 Syphilis cases at highest levels in 70 years in alarming trend During the study period, 367 infants were hospitalized in Mississippi due to a diagnosis of congenital syphilis. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023 Sometimes, a bear standing on its hind legs can signal aggressiveness, especially if combined with other alarming signs. Craig Caudill, Field & Stream, 20 Sep. 2023 But the players understand that this recent trend of falling behind early is becoming an alarming habit. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 16 Sep. 2023 What’s that mean for a high achiever? Sept. 14, 2023 California ‘No one is coming to our rescue’: Inside rural California’s alarming teacher shortage A rural California school district scrambles to find teachers amid a national shortage. Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Doctors and scientists are working to determine what might be causing this alarming trend, and a decline in sleep quality and duration is one possibility. Mira Miller, Verywell Health, 18 Sep. 2023 Covid-19 cases have steadily increased since July, and public health officials have warned of a comeback for the virus in the fall and winter months — though some experts say that this year is less alarming than previous years. Anjali Huynh, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alarming.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from present participle of alarm entry 2

First Known Use

1658, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alarming was in 1658

Dictionary Entries Near alarming

Cite this Entry

“Alarming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on alarming

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