false alarm


Definition of false alarm

1 : an alarm (such as a fire or burglar alarm) that is set off needlessly
2 : something causing alarm or excitement that proves to be unfounded

Examples of false alarm in a Sentence

A false alarm drew firefighters to the school. The report that the factory would be closing was a false alarm. He thought he might be having a heart attack, but his chest pains were just a false alarm.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Firefighters were called to the 72-story building at 901 Main St. at 1:31 p.m. and requested police assistance at 1:40 p.m. Within an hour, firefighters determined that the report was a false alarm and nobody was in danger, Evans said. Dallas News, "Relative's unanswered call led to false alarm of workers stuck outside Dallas' Bank of America building," 19 June 2019 Project Ozma, as the research was called (after L. Frank Baum’s fictional monarch of Oz), was both the first SETI experiment and the first SETI false alarm. John Wenz, Discover Magazine, "The Secret Origins of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," 11 Feb. 2019 Barriss is scheduled for a separate Jan. 7 trial in Sedgwick County District Court on state charges of involuntary manslaughter, giving a false alarm and interference with a law enforcement officer. Roxana Hegeman, The Seattle Times, "Man who made hoax call in deadly ‘swatting’ pleads guilty," 13 Nov. 2018 In one 24-hour period, the Austin police responded to 420 suspicious-package calls, all false alarms. Dave Montgomery And Manny Fernandez, New York Times, "Austin Bombing Suspect’s Housemate Called a Person of Interest," 26 Mar. 2018 Mirage or not, false alarm or not, tease or not, the Mariners have provided two weeks of enjoyment that was not in any script or blueprint. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Historic or hysterical? Mariners’ magical start borders on the absurd, but oh what fun it is," 12 Apr. 2019 But a variety of analysis methods suggested that there was an additional signal at 233 days, with a false alarm probability of only one in 1015. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Sun’s closest solo star may have company," 14 Nov. 2018 As of June, outstanding utility bills total $107,500; parking ticket scofflaws have run up a tab of $78,500; code compliance fines total $6,450; and another $1,000 is owed the city for false alarm fees, city officials said. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Owe a parking ticket or municipal utility bill in Geneva? You may get a break under a new amnesty program.," 13 June 2018 Businesses that continue to have false alarm calls could face fines starting at $130 with their third call, said Dedrick Stevens, commissioner for the Division of Assessments and Licenses. Staff, cleveland.com, "Comment here on cleveland.com court and crime stories for Monday, April 9, 2018," 9 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of false alarm

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for false alarm

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for false alarm

The first known use of false alarm was in 1578

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More Definitions for false alarm

false alarm


English Language Learners 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

More from Merriam-Webster on false alarm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with false alarm

Comments on false alarm

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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