Arms (#), n. pl. [OE. armes, F. arme, pl. armes, fr. L. arma, pl., arms, orig. fittings, akin to armus shoulder, and E. arm. See Arm, n.]


Instruments or weapons of offense or defense.

He lays down his arms, but not his wiles. Milton.

Three horses and three goodly suits of arms. Tennyson.


The deeds or exploits of war; military service or science.

"Arms and the man I sing."


3. Law

Anything which a man takes in his hand in anger, to strike or assault another with; an aggressive weapon.

Cowell. Blackstone.

4. Her.

The ensigns armorial of a family, consisting of figures and colors borne in shields, banners, etc., as marks of dignity and distinction, and descending from father to son.

5. Falconry

The legs of a hawk from the thigh to the foot.


Bred to arms, educated to the profession of a soldier. -- In arms, armed for war; in a state of hostility. -- Small arms, portable firearms known as muskets, rifles, carbines, pistols, etc. -- A stand of arms, a complete set for one soldier, as a musket, bayonet, cartridge box and belt; frequently, the musket and bayonet alone. -- To arms! a summons to war or battle. -- Under arms, armed and equipped and in readiness for battle, or for a military parade.

Arm's end, Arm's length, Arm's reach. See under Arm.


© Webster 1913.