to the hilt


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to to the hilt: up to the hilt

to the hilt

As much or to the greatest degree possible; completely or utterly. They've had to borrow to the hilt to get the company off the ground. We're ready to defend our client to the hilt in court.

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

or

up to the hilt

COMMON
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

completely.
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 ?
But a second pathologist, Dr Peter Jerreat, said he had not seen any evidence that the knife had gone up to the hilt.
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 that 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.
Grabbi has scored just once this season and Souness has now lost patience with the player after backing him to the hilt earlier in the campaign.
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.
NEA is a firm who backs their entrepreneurs to the hilt and works with their companies as true partners.
We saw what he can do at Adelaide and everyone backs him to the hilt.
I FIND it a bit rich for the Labour Party to say taxes would be so much higher under an SNP government when the current administration have already taxed us to the hilt.