hold (one) at arm's length

(redirected from hold us 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 periodicals archive ?
The Democrats rely on an energized African American voting block, yet when it comes to the party's agenda and leadership, they hold us at arm's length, in the name of being centrist.
TRW continues to hold us at arm's length and deny us access to information that could support its claim that an offer of greater value is warranted.