keep at arm's length
keep at arm’s length
- keep distance from something or somebody
- avoid intimacy or familiarity
- avoid being connected with someone or something
- not let someone be too friendly
- keep a degree of remoteness, either physical or social
- I like to keep my office colleagues at arm's length outside of office. I don't want them in my personal life.
- He always had the feeling that she was keeping him at arm's length.
- Though they are business partners, they don't get along well together and keep each other at arm's length.
- He looks to be a fishy person. I would keep him at arm's length if I were you.
- He did not have a very cordial relationship with his family and kept them at arm's length.
- We proposed the idea to the management, but they are keeping it at arm's length for now.
- In order to maintain a professional relationship with his clients, he preferred to keep them at arm's length when outside of business dealings.
- She said she would like to keep him at arm's length until she got to know him better.
- They try to keep at arm's length of each other after having had a huge argument sometime back.
The phrase first originated as "at arm's length", but later gradually changed to its current form with "keep" around the mid 1600s.
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