Something that's alarming is disturbing or upsetting. It can be alarming when you hear a sudden, loud crash of thunder.

The idea of climate change is very alarming to many people, and the sound of a police car's siren is alarming when you're driving. Things that are alarming grab your attention, and either frighten you or at least unsettle you. The adjective alarming comes from alarm, via the Old French alarme, which is rooted in the Italian interjection all'arme, a rally or warning cry, "to arms!"

Definitions of alarming
  1. adjective
    frightening because of an awareness of danger
    appalling, dismaying
    causing consternation
    atrocious, frightful, horrible, horrifying, ugly
    provoking horror
    awful, dire, direful, dread, dreaded, dreadful, fearful, fearsome, frightening, horrendous, horrific, terrible
    causing fear or dread or terror
    baleful, forbidding, menacing, minacious, minatory, ominous, sinister, threatening
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    bloodcurdling, hair-raising, nightmarish
    extremely alarming
    chilling, scarey, scary, shivery, shuddery
    provoking fear terror
    creepy, creepy-crawly
    causing a sensation as of things crawling on your skin
    formidable, redoubtable, unnerving
    inspiring fear
    ghastly, grim, grisly, gruesome, macabre, sick
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    hazardous and frightening
    paralyzing with terror
    shocking with surprise and consternation
    terrific, terrifying
    causing extreme terror
    see moresee less
    not alarming; assuaging alarm
Word Family

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