The “up in arms” idiom refers to being angry, rebellious, or eagerly opposing something. The phrase’s original meaning dates to the 1500s in its literal sense. It has to do with the fact that both armour and weapons are referred to as arms. King Richard III by William Shakespeare contains one of the first uses of the phrase. Written in the late 1500s, the play.
It is unknown if the term was intended literally or figuratively. Given that references to an adversary and marching are made, it is taken to be literal. The metaphorical connotation derives from the same source. In the idiom, no weapons are used, but a war is nevertheless thought to be taking place between the participants. The figurative meaning is believed to have first appeared in the 1700s.
Usage with Examples
Here are some examples of the use of “up in arms” idiom in sentences:
- When the students learned that their break time would be eliminated owing to bad behaviour, they were up in arms.
- My mother was up in arms over the rumoured new salary reductions.
- The staff were up in arms due to the management’s decision to end the five-day workweek policy.
- People are up in arms about the highway that they plan to build via our city centre.
Synonyms and Similar Words to Up in Arms
Synonyms of “up in arms” idiom:
- Rebellious, and
Up in Arms Meaning Quiz
I was up in arms after
- My friend warmly greeted me.
- My friend ignored me.
- My friend gave me a gift.
Also Read: 150 Common Difficult Idioms with Examples
Correct Answer: b) My friend ignored me.
This was all about the up in arms idiom meaning and examples. Hope you understood the concept where it’s used. For more such blogs, follow Leverage Edu.