up in arms

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up in arms

Very upset or angry about something. Likened to an armed rebellion, from which the phrase originated. The whole town is up in arms about the addition of a new shopping center. Mom was really up in arms after I dented her brand-new car.
See also: arm, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*up in arms

 
1. Fig. in armed rebellion. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) The entire population is up in arms. They are up in arms, ready to fight.
2. Fig. very angry. (Fig. on {2}, but without weapons. *Typically: be ~; get ~.) Wally was up in arms about the bill for the broken window. I am really up in arms about what happened.
See also: arm, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

up in arms

Angry, rebellious, as in The town was up in arms over the state's plan to allow commercial flights at the air base . This idiom originally referred to an armed rebellion and was so used from the late 1500s. Its figurative use dates from about 1700.
See also: arm, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

up in arms

COMMON If someone is up in arms about something, they are very angry about it and are protesting strongly. More than one million shopkeepers are up in arms against the new minimum tax. This is a very delicate situation. Frank feels he has been publicly humiliated, and his sponsors are up in arms. Politicians from both sides of the House were up in arms at her strongest ever criticism of EU attempts to unite Europe. Note: `Arms' in this expression means weapons.
See also: arm, up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

up in ˈarms (about/over something)

(informal) very angry and protesting very strongly (about something): Local residents are up in arms over plans to build a new motorway.
See also: arm, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

up in arms

mod. angry; excited. The whole town was up in arms about the planned highway.
See also: arm, up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

up in arms

Extremely upset; indignant.
See also: arm, up
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

up in arms

Openly rebellious; angry. Originally (sixteenth century) this expression meant literally to take up arms against an enemy. It was being used figuratively by about 1700; Jonathan Swift had it in 1704, “All the men of wit . . . were immediately up in arms.”
See also: arm, up
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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