to the hilt

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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 classic literature ?
Pulling out the sword with his disengaged hand, he flung it from him, the moonlight glinting upon the jewels of its hilt and the unsullied steel of its blade.
He bowed his head behind his master, and without stirring held hilt up over his right shoulder a long blade in a silver scabbard.
Hilt and Stella Kelly and the Sidekicks were long central to Roxbury's annual Fiddlers
The biggest problem that the fans wanted to address about the new design in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is the part where the main beam and the smaller beams at the hilt meet.
Rita Hills region has been the foundation of The Hilt since its inception in 2008," said Matt Dees.
The original 1963 production of Curlew River had an all-male cast, and Scott and Hilt have not only followed that example, they have drawn the players from the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles.
But why was this dagger's hilt shaped like a man and decorated with human features?
Ensure the end of the hilt is pressed into your palm.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIND SWORD HILT FITTINGS: At least 84 pommel caps and 71 sword hilt collars have been identified so far.
Carnegie Hilt shoppers are highly refined, and I am very proud of the many boutiques and fine restaurants we have placed here that have met and exceeded their expectations.
For goodness sake, let's back Dave to the hilt because he will not be out of work for long.
Because surely the sky-high cost of such transport alone is bound to act as an irritant to a public getting taxed to the hilt.
We in Britain are taxed to the hilt on most things, but this outrageous and offensive tax should be removed straight away.
While Warwickshire Fire Service provided cover in Coventry for the Radford Road, Foleshill, Canley and Binley crews who were stretched to the hilt fighting the blaze, other appliances came from: Bickenhill, Solihull, Hay Mills, Ward End, Aston, Sheldon, Bournebrook, Ladywood, Smethwick, Perry Barr, Billesley, Highgate, Sutton Coldfield, Northfield and Oldbury.
Worked to death by unscrupulous employers, and taxed to the hilt by politicians whose only interest is to line their own pockets, what else do we have left?