alarm bells start to ring

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alarm bells start to ring

Some issue indicates that one should be concerned about a potentially greater problem or troubling situation. Alarm bells started to ring among the board members when sales continued to decline for the second straight If your date asks you to meet in a secluded place, alarm bells should start to ring.
See also: alarm, bell, ring, start

alarm bells start to ring

COMMON If alarm bells start to ring, you begin to be aware of a problem in a situation. It was when the headaches suddenly got a lot worse that alarm bells started to ring. Note: You can also say something sets alarm bells ringing, meaning that something makes you start to be aware of a problem. His absence from work for three days had set alarm bells ringing. Note: You can also say warning bells start to ring. He didn't understand the half of it but warning bells were starting to ring in the back of his mind. Note: You can also say something sets warning bells ringing meaning that something makes you start to be aware of a problem. There was something in the way she spoke that set warning bells ringing in Brak's head.
See also: alarm, bell, ring, start