alarm bell

alarm bell (plural alarm bells)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see alarm, bell
  2. (figuratively, usually in plural) A sudden awareness of danger.
    • 1998, Michele Gillespie, Catherine Clinton, Taking off the white gloves: Southern women and women historians
      The specter of women in factories, women in schoolrooms, and women attending — a lot less addressing — public meetings set off alarm bells in the South.
  • German: Alarmglocke

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