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shot in the arm, a

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A stimulus or booster, something vitalizing or encouraging, as in Getting a new concertmaster was a real shot in the arm for the orchestra. This colloquial expression alludes to a stimulant given by injection. [c. 1920]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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