- n. A distance approximately equal to the length of a human's arm.
- n. figuratively A position not suggesting or inviting intimacy.
- n. figuratively A condition of independence and parity for parties to a transaction.
- adj. literally Barely within reach.
- adj. idiomatic Distant, detached.
- adj. idiomatic Independent, but related.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. the length of the arm.
- n. a distance sufficient to exclude intimacy
“He covered the remaining steps three at a time, jumping the last half dozen, and landed within arm's length of Louis Nor-bert.”
“He stopped an arm's length away from the towering, lanky, gray-furred figure.”
“She had kept Likari at arm's length all his life, fearing that she might lose him.”
“Stobrod stood about arm's length outside what he judged the striking range to be.”
“As a matter of principle, however, Cowdray wished to hit the enemy at maximum range and keep him at arm's length for as long as possible.”
“Five Feathers had evidently not been sitting there throughout that long June afternoon, for, within an arm's length was the jolliest little tepee made of many branches of poplar and cottonwood, sides and roof all one thick mass of green leaves and branches woven together like basketwork, a bed of short, dry prairie grass, fragrant and brown, his own saddlebags and single blanket for pillow and mattress.”
“When he had driven them out of the village, he would pick out the darts that were sticking all over him; and put on his coat-of-arms again; stand up in his stirrups, and brandishing his sword at arm's length cry, "Châtillon! knights! where are my paladins?”
“Â Â Â Behind Telemain and Brandel, the bald, sharp-faced man they had seen in the mirror entered, carrying Scorn at arm's length by the scruff of her neck.”
“It discussed as if at arm's length the war, the embargo, the various other expressions of hard times, and their effect on Ada's income, which would be reduced, in fact, to approximately nothing, at least until the war's successful conclusion.”
“Not an arm's length from Calarran's face, the leaves curled and shriveled.”
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