to the hilt

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Related to to the hilt: up to the hilt

to the hilt

Also, up to the hilt. Completely, to the maximum degree, as in The house was mortgaged up to the hilt. This idiom alludes to the handle ( hilt) of a sword, the only portion that remains out when the weapon is plunged all the way in. The figurative use of the term was first recorded in 1687.

to the hilt


up to the hilt

1. If you do something to the hilt or up to the hilt, you do it to the greatest possible extent. He'll be a good candidate. We'll back him up to the hilt. If Fred raises this issue tomorrow, I'll defend my actions to the hilt.
2. If you borrow money to the hilt or up to the hilt, you borrow as much as possible. The company had borrowed to the hilt and still needed more capital. His father's estates were mortgaged up to the hilt. Note: The hilt of a sword or knife is its handle. The image here is of a knife or sword being pushed in all the way to the handle.

(up) to the hilt

The image is that of plunging the blade of a knife deeply into something, so that only the hilt is visible.

(up) to the ˈhilt

(support, etc. somebody) completely: I will support you to the hilt on this.
This expression refers to the full length of a sword, up to its handle (= the hilt).

to the hilt

To the limit; completely: played the role to the hilt.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fashionable to the hilt with an infusion of international celebrities and new millionaires, the region has more recently produced a line of overblown mansions that many consider a social mistake by status seekers.
Pathologist Dr Michael Heath told the hearing yesterday that the knife which killed Mr Cameron went in right up to the hilt.
Most online companies are playing their Spanish roots to the hilt, while claiming only nebulous Portuguese plans.
We're grateful to Smith for creating a screen showcase for Halston, even as we wish he had exploited her vivacious comic gifts to the hilt, particularly in a curiously tame cabaret sequence.
Many homeowners mortgaged themselves to the hilt during the refinance boom.
They are in this for the long run and they have backed me to the hilt.
We saw what he can do at Adelaide and everyone backs him to the hilt.
We back people to the hilt and get behind them because it makes us proud to have a Scot up there in the limelight because it moves our Scottish hearts.
Aren't we already taxed to the hilt in this country without adding another one?
Stephen Rose, director of Debt Advice Bureau, said homeowners are remortgaging to the hilt, while consumers were using credit cards and loans to supplement a lifestyle they simply cannot afford.
I DON'T know the age of Tony Eadington, but he obviously wasn't in Birmingham, London or Coventry during World War II or he would have known we were bombed when Germany was armed to the hilt and we had little or nothing to defend ourselves with.
The clueless son of a conservative senator, Dickie's first run for office is an embarrassment to all concerned, but he's so dumb and pliable that the local robber barons - the state's real pillagers, in case you didn't get the point - back him to the hilt.
The body count is very high and extremely messy but some enjoyable black comedy is played up to the hilt by a feisty cast, who include the lovely Rowan (Lexa Doig) and a shapely robot played by Lisa Ryder.
editor for his jeremiad, because from chapter to chapter I could discern no really cogently marshaled argument anywhere, just the endlessly and not especially imaginatively regurgitated bits about the art being all bad but successful because money and the press and some uppity bad boys and girls have played their parts to the hilt.
My only worry is that he is handicapped up to the hilt.