On a clock, the alarm can be set to go off at a certain time to wake nearby sleepers. You should always check the alarm on the clock at a hotel because a previous guest may have it set to go off in the middle of the night.
The noun alarm refers to a signal that is meant to rouse, alert, or awaken someone. On April 18, 1775, William Dawes, Paul Revere, and several others rode from Boston to Lexington, Massachusetts to raise the alarm that the British were coming. As a verb, alarm means to be filled with anxiety or apprehension. You may become alarmed if your children become too quiet. Never a good sign — they are probably up to something mischievous.