To keep at arm's length
Arm Arm, n. [AS. arm, earm; akin to OHG. aram, G., D., Dan., & Sw. arm, Icel. armr, Goth. arms, L. armus arm, shoulder, and prob. to Gr. ? joining, joint, shoulder, fr. the root ? to join, to fit together; cf. Slav. rame. ?. See {Art}, {Article}.] 1. The limb of the human body which extends from the shoulder to the hand; also, the corresponding limb of a monkey. [1913 Webster]

2. Anything resembling an arm; as, (a) The fore limb of an animal, as of a bear. (b) A limb, or locomotive or prehensile organ, of an invertebrate animal. (c) A branch of a tree. (d) A slender part of an instrument or machine, projecting from a trunk, axis, or fulcrum; as, the arm of a steelyard. (e) (Naut) The end of a yard; also, the part of an anchor which ends in the fluke. (f) An inlet of water from the sea. (g) A support for the elbow, at the side of a chair, the end of a sofa, etc. [1913 Webster]

3. Fig.: Power; might; strength; support; as, the secular arm; the arm of the law. [1913 Webster]

To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? --Isa. lii. 1. [1913 Webster]

{Arm's end}, the end of the arm; a good distance off. --Dryden.

{Arm's length}, the length of the arm.

{Arm's reach}, reach of the arm; the distance the arm can reach.

{To go} (or {walk}) {arm in arm}, to go with the arm or hand of one linked in the arm of another. ``When arm in armwe went along.'' --Tennyson.

{To keep at arm's length}, to keep at a distance (literally or figuratively); not to allow to come into close contact or familiar intercourse.

{To work at arm's length}, to work disadvantageously. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To keep at arm's length — Keep Keep (k[=e]p), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Kept} (k[e^]pt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Keeping}.] [OE. k[=e]pen, AS. c[=e]pan to keep, regard, desire, await, take, betake; cf. AS. copenere lover, OE. copnien to desire.] 1. To care; to desire. [Obs.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To work at arm's length — Arm Arm, n. [AS. arm, earm; akin to OHG. aram, G., D., Dan., & Sw. arm, Icel. armr, Goth. arms, L. armus arm, shoulder, and prob. to Gr. ? joining, joint, shoulder, fr. the root ? to join, to fit together; cf. Slav. rame. ?. See {Art},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep at arm's length — keep (someone/something) at arm s length to avoid becoming connected with someone or something. We proposed a tax break for companies that treat their workers well, but lawmakers are keeping the idea at arm s length for now. She doesn t talk much …   New idioms dictionary

  • keep\ at\ arm's\ length — • keep (one) at a distance • keep (one) at arm s length v. phr. To avoid (someone s) company; not become too friendly toward. Mr. Smith is kind to the workers in his store but after work he keeps them at a distance. Betty likes Bill and is trying …   Словарь американских идиом

  • keep at arm's length —    If you keep someone at arm s length, you do not allow yourself to become too friendly with them.     It s not easy to become friends with Sophie; she tends to keep everyone at arm s length …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • keep at arm's length — держать на расстоянии She keрt him at arm s length, thinking that he might try to kiss her …   Idioms and examples

  • keep someone at arm's length — keep (someone/something) at arm s length to avoid becoming connected with someone or something. We proposed a tax break for companies that treat their workers well, but lawmakers are keeping the idea at arm s length for now. She doesn t talk much …   New idioms dictionary

  • keep something at arm's length — keep (someone/something) at arm s length to avoid becoming connected with someone or something. We proposed a tax break for companies that treat their workers well, but lawmakers are keeping the idea at arm s length for now. She doesn t talk much …   New idioms dictionary

  • keep\ one\ at\ arm's\ length — • keep (one) at a distance • keep (one) at arm s length v. phr. To avoid (someone s) company; not become too friendly toward. Mr. Smith is kind to the workers in his store but after work he keeps them at a distance. Betty likes Bill and is trying …   Словарь американских идиом

  • keep somebody at arm's length — keep sb at arm s length idiom to avoid having a close relationship with sb • He keeps all his clients at arm s length. Main entry: ↑armidiom …   Useful english dictionary

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