hold (one) at arm's length

(redirected from held at arm's length)

hold (one) at arm's length

To keep one at a certain distance away, either physical or figurative, in order to afford a level of safety or security or to prevent intimacy. John always holds his friends at arm's length, so that no one gets close enough to hurt his feelings. My daughter likes to watch me cook, but I make sure to hold her at arm's length so she doesn't get close to anything hot.
See also: hold, length
References in classic literature ?
He struck at his captor, only to be twisted about and held at arm's length. Then he shouted to his boys to come and kill the stranger.
The legal ownership of movie productions is held in a special purpose legal entity held at arm's length to the Company to facilitate for the qualification of various levels of domestic and foreign government tax credit incentives that are customary in the film and production business.
Cliftonville did gain more of a foothold in the game after the break but their attack was held at arm's length until the hour mark, when Joe Gormley tried his luck with an audacious 35-yard free-kick that whistled narrowly over.
HELD AT ARM'S LENGTH St Jude's star Tom Lahiff can't get close enough to rob Paul Mannion during last night's game
It's still remarkable, though, the extent to which Trump's approach to foreign policy is held at arm's length by the rest of the world.
The hosts dominated possession but were held at arm's length, to the growing frustration of Stamford Bridge.
The blue 10[degrees] scale bar is about the width of your fist when it's held at arm's length. For clarity, the Moon is shown three times its apparent size.
Their distance will be just a thumb's width when held at arm's length.
At 70 meters, the target face appears roughly the size of a thumbtack head held at arm's length. And archers have to shoot at that target in any weather, including rain and high winds!
Despite the fact they were held at arm's length for the first hour, Radford hailed his team's determination to mount a recovery.
How long before we can add in the ubiquitous light of a smartphone held at arm's length for either a selfie or an "I was there" moment where, frankly, you might as well not have been there as you were watching it through your billion-pixel screen?
How long before we can add in the ubiquitous light of a smartphone held at arm's length for either a selfie or an 'I was there' moment where, frankly, you might as well not have been there as you were watching it through your screen?
But after being held at arm's length by the board he retreated to South Africa.
They are often shared on social networking services such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr and are often casual, typically taken either with a camera held at arm's length or in a mirror.