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arm to the teeth

  1. (idiomatic) To equip thoroughly with weapons.
    • 1809, Washington Irving, chapter 33, in Knickerbocker's History of New York:
      There, on the ramparts of the forts, stood Nicholas Koorn, armed to the teeth, flourishing a brass-hilted sword.
    • 1910, H. Rider Haggard, chapter 15, in Queen Sheba's Ring:
      Who can murmur sweet nothings to his adored when two soldiers armed to the teeth have been instructed never to let him out of their sight?
    • 2009 May 25, Michael Schuman, "Building Bridges to China," Time:
      Both sides armed the Taiwan Strait to the teeth, turning it into one of Asia's most dangerous military flash points.


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