keep (someone or something) at arm's length

(redirected from keep you at arm's length from)

keep (someone or something) at arm's length

1. To maintain a protective level of detachment or dissociation from someone or something. John has been keeping us all at arm's length lately, so none of us knows how he is really doing. The senator was careful to keep the controversial topic at arm's length during his re-election campaign.
2. To prevent someone, something, or oneself from interacting, being involved, or becoming associated too closely with someone or something else. Typically followed by "from someone or something." The government has so far been keeping the country at arm's length from the hostilities in the region. My mother was very overprotective, and she always kept me at arm's length from anything or anyone she thought might be harmful.
See also: keep, length