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 to be friendly, but he keeps her at arm's length.

Compare: keep one's distance, hold off(1a)

Словарь американских идиом. — СПб., Изд-во "Лань". . 1997.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • keep at arm's length — keep (something) at arm s length See at: keep at arm s length …   New idioms dictionary

  • keep at arm's length — ► keep at arm s length avoid intimacy or close contact with. Main Entry: ↑arm …   English terms dictionary

  • 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 —    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 at arm's length — keep at a distance, prevent from getting close …   English contemporary dictionary

  • keep at arm's length — avoid intimacy or close contact with. → arm …   English new terms dictionary

  • 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},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

  • 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

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