alarm·​ing | \ ə-ˈlär-miŋ How to pronounce alarming (audio) \

Definition of alarming

: causing people to feel danger or alarm or to be worried or frightened alarming news The statistics revealed an alarming increase in childhood obesity.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from alarming

alarmingly \ ə-​ˈlär-​miŋ-​lē \ adverb
an alarmingly high rate of infection

Examples of alarming in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Nearly half of the lower cost smoke alarms are failing at an alarming rate. Alerting ten minutes later. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Avoid smoke alarm failures; new guidelines mean more home alarms and more saved lives," 29 July 2019 Reefs, which are disappearing at an alarming rate and now in the midst of an unprecedented disease outbreak, are the opposite. Jenny Staletovich,, "New Study Says Everglades Water Is Harming Keys Corals. Not Everyone Agrees.," 28 July 2019 The Dead Sea—its surface 1,400 feet below sea level—is shrinking at an alarming rate because of the diversion of water from the Jordan River for agriculture. Andrew Solomon, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling Through Jordan’s Historic Ruins, Red Dunes, and Dead Sea," 24 July 2019 There are about 700,000 deaf or hard-of-hearing residents in Kentucky, and similar cases to Dotson's death are growing at an alarming rate, Moore said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Deaf advocates call for keyless car changes after Kentucky woman's death," 19 July 2019 The bills come in response to a national movement to build awareness of the deaths and disappearances of Native American women, who are victimized at alarming rates. Author: Mary Hudetza, Anchorage Daily News, "Feds miss 2nd deadline for congressional tribal safety bills," 16 July 2019 In May, the state auditor, Elaine Howe, issued a blistering report on DCFS’ performance, saying the department was slow to investigate allegations of abuse and left children in unsafe conditions at an alarming rate. Garrett Therolf,, "Social workers didn’t remove boy from his home despite court order. He later died," 11 July 2019 But since 2010, the population has been declining at an alarming rate, and scientists believe there are currently about 400 living North Atlantic right whales. Nick Hawkins, National Geographic, "6 recent deaths push rare whales closer to extinction," 11 July 2019 Playing good defense and with Las Vegas fumbling the ball away at an alarming rate, including eight of its 16 turnovers in the opening frame, the Lynx led by as much as 14 early in the second quarter. Mike Cook, Twin Cities, "Minnesota Lynx blow late lead in loss to Las Vegas Aces," 16 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alarming.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of alarming

1658, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alarming

from present participle of alarm entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alarming

Statistics for alarming

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alarming

The first known use of alarming was in 1658

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on alarming

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alarming

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alarming

Spanish Central: Translation of alarming

Nglish: Translation of alarming for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alarming for Arabic Speakers

Comments on alarming

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


to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!